Treating Healthcare M&A Challenges with Identity and Access Management

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January 25, 2018

As I explained in my previous blog, M&A is a prevalent healthcare trend with many benefits for payers, providers and patients. But executing a successful merger or acquisition is not an easy task. It's a tall order to integrate a complex mix of infrastructures, applications, policies and identities while avoiding increased management complexity, identity silos and downtime.

 

Let's talk more specifically about four big M&A challenges that a modern IAM solution like the Ping Identity Platform can help the healthcare industry address.

 

1. Slow, disjointed onboarding process

The longer it takes to onboard new employees, patients and members to the desired system after an acquisition, the longer it takes to realize value from the new acquisition. And each organization brings their own enterprise apps, APIs and health portals to the table, slowing down the transition process. IAM can help accelerate the onboarding of any new health entity while maintaining the highest standards of security.

 

An IAM platform built on open standards with flexible deployment options, like the Ping Identity Platform, can help you secure geographically disparate infrastructures and get up and running quickly. You can quickly grant all providers, patients, members and administrators, no matter which company they were originally associated with, the right level of access to the right applications and provide a single login for seamless access.


2. Integrating inconsistent directories at scale

Each healthcare organization maintains their own directory--or multiple directories--where they store their employee, provider, member and patient identity data. They not only have different identities stored but also unique attributes, from health plan data to prescription information to communication preferences.

 

You'll need a modern directory solution to accommodate everything in those separate data stores so you can move forward with one centrally managed source of truth for all your identities. PingDirectory is able to scale to millions of patient, member and workforce identities, and uses flexible schema to accommodate unique attributes, even unstructured data. Especially when you're dealing with protected health information (PHI) and personally identifiable information (PII), having a solution that ensures the security of all that data by encrypting it at rest, in transit and during backup is critical to M&A success.


3. Disruption in access when rationalizing IAM solutions

When health is on the line, there can be serious consequences when an app or service goes down or when critical data is inaccessible. But when multiple organizations are standardizing onto a common IAM system, there's often a period of downtime as single sign-on (SSO), multi-factor authentication (MFA), access management and directory solutions are switched over.

 

The problem of downtime during directory migration can be solved through bi-directional synchronization. This is when the old and the new directory (or the directory of an acquired company and an acquirer's) exist simultaneously for a time, synchronizing in real time while apps are being migrated to the new directory. No downtime needed, as identity data is kept current and correct in both places. Ping's identity federation, access management and MFA solutions have integration kits and token translators, allowing you to maintain coexistence with other IAM solutions during M&A activities so you never lose access.


4. Decentralized and unstandardized security policies

When bringing together multiple groups of people, apps and APIs, it's difficult to apply the right access security, especially when the original entities have their own established privileges and policies. Security policies are tough to manage on an app-by-app basis for employees and patients, and even more so when you're dealing with a distributed value chain of suppliers, contractors and partners who need varying levels of access.

 

Ping's access management solution can help you centralize and standardize access security for all apps and APIs, from health delivery to patient mobile to cloud-hosted R&D apps. It gives you the flexibility to set varying policies based on the entities involved, so that each user has the appropriate level of access. Ping's data governance solution also gives you granular control over access to your sensitive PHI and PII. You can easily manage even the most complex system of permissions and policies to keep all of your sensitive data secure and compliant.


Achieve your M&A objectives with IAM

As you consider the future of your healthcare organization and how you can better serve your members and patients, keep in mind how IAM can be a strategic enabler of your M&A strategies. It can help you get up and running faster, bring together disparate apps, security policies, and identity data, and keep everything online and secure the whole way through. That means a smooth integration for you, faster time to value and a painless transition for all the employees, members and patients that rely every day on your critical healthcare services.

 

To learn more about how Ping can help meet the needs of the healthcare industry, visit https://www.pingidentity.com/en/platform/industry/healthcare.html


Andrew GoodmanProduct Marketing Manager

Andrew Goodman helps IAM pro's demonstrate the business value of legacy IAM modernization, and also focuses on the benefits of identity in healthcare. See LinkedIn.