Case Study


Faith-based and secular M&A

Two high-performing systems – one Catholic and one secular – signed an agreement to merge under a unified brand. Upon closing the deal, both organizations agreed to adhere to the Ethical and Religious Directives that govern Catholic health systems, affecting some controversial services, including elective abortions, care for the LGBTQ+ community, and physician-assisted death.   

The two systems knew this shift in service offerings for sensitive procedures would lead to patient, policymaker, employer, and advocacy group concerns and needed a proactive communication plan to address these concerns. The systems also wanted to prepare for potential antitrust claims surfaced by regulatory agencies. Revive developed a merger communications strategy and execution plan to navigate these sensitivities. 

Proactive preparation   

Revive recommended that the organizations immediately and directly address variables that could disrupt the deal, creating and communicating messaging before others could define it for them. And the merger communications plan needed more than messaging; it needed a plan to deploy that messaging. Revive developed a message architecture and stakeholder engagement plan to educate the public about the deal’s positive outcomes.   

To begin, the Revive team combined its deep knowledge of health system M&A with both qualitative and quantitative primary market research to understand how key constituencies would react to the merger.   

This research gave the team the footing they needed to prepare strategies and messaging around anticipated challenges, focusing on Catholic Directives and quality/cost. The team used this information to create the communications plan and messaging that would serve as the framework for announcing the deal internally and externally. When the news became public, each organization was ready to respond with strategic and tailored messaging to negative press, misinformation, rumors, and misperceptions.  

A deal closing on the horizon, an air-tight comms plan 

Once the announcement was made, Revive closely monitored and responded quickly to internal and external opposition, including responses to a high-profile advocacy group.  

As the deal’s close approached, Revive helped these two health systems engage prominent stakeholders to bolster public perception of the unified organization’s benefits on the region. The team also revised messaging and prepared communications materials for internal and external audiences to help announce and respond to questions about the deal’s completion.  

Benefits of a deep understanding of M+A   

Revive’s robust experience and deep understanding of M&A gave this merger’s announcement the edge it needed to navigate murky waters. As a result, the deal was successfully closed with no new regulatory scrutiny.