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Mergers and acquisitions may be hazardous to health IT

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Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) can be hazardous to a company’s health, industry experts often warn. In the realm of health IT, this maxim is no less true.

Robert W. Holthausen, professor of accounting, finance and management at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, is one expert issuing the caveat. “Various studies have shown that mergers have failure rates of more than 50 percent.” In fact, he added, one recent study found that a whopping 83 percent of mergers fail to actually create value.

Health IT officials also have expressed their concern over industry M&A activity. Barry Blumenfeld, chief information officer at MaineHealth, for example, cited poor electronic health record (EHR) product integration resulting from M&A as one of the biggest reasons the hospital is transitioning from Allscripts and MEDITECH – companies that have recently struggled due to M&A activity – to Epic.

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