Your editorial, "Mounting failures prove integration not a panacea" (Aug. 5, p. 74), is right on the mark. Besides diversification, the healthcare industry has gone through many other fads in the past 20 years. It bet heavily on corporate reorganization, acquisitions, re-engineering, rightsizing, clinical information systems, quality circles, changing spans of control, provider-insurer combinations, PHOs and so on.
While this has been good for consultants, attorneys and investment bankers, all too often the industry has had little to show for its time, effort and money.
All these management concepts paid off handsomely when they were applied intelligently in the right situations. But when pursued more for their form than their substance, they turned out to be wasteful, disruptive and useless.
The moral in today's merger rush is obvious. Unless more potential merger and affiliation partners fight the herd instinct and insist on informed, common-sense planning, the failures surely will begin to rival our nation's divorce rate.
JOHN G. ERESIAN
President, Eresian Associates, Hollis, N.H.