October 2017 - Volume 34 - Issue 1

  • Trudy Land, FACHE
  • 0748-8157
  • 2475-2797
  • 4 issues per year

From the Fall Issue 2017

A plethora of partnerships in a widening variety of permutations is defining the new normal in healthcare. Strategic partnerships of different types seem to be the future of our healthcare system, ranging from mergers and acquisitions (M&As) to affiliations, joint ventures, clinical integration networks, and regional collaboratives, as well as arrangements with physician practices, urgent care and retail clinics, pre- and post-acute care providers, community organizations, and payers. The numerous considerations include cultural fit, service gaps, branding, efficiency, access to care, capital availability, operational and financial position, market share, geographic location, and population health. Many hospitals and health systems are forming non-M&A partnerships to allow independence, whereas others continue to partner through formal M&As.

Partnerships can extend the continuum of care and produce synergy, and with the transition to value-based care and reimbursement, the coordination of services with key partners is critical. Organizations are aligning forces to decrease costs, increase revenue, provide care in the right setting, and generate value. Their partnerships involve patients, employees, physicians, communities, providers, and insurers. To prevent readmissions and provide the right services, a network of providers including (but not limited to) primary care, telehealth, home health, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and palliative care may be necessary for many organizations to survive.

In this dynamic environment, how do organizations assess potential partnerships, develop strategies for collaboration, apply the skills needed to broker such arrangements, and integrate the new partners? How can the myriad opportunities for partnerships be leveraged? What are the advantages and disadvantages of these types of relationships versus traditional M&As? In an industry where innovation is creating new models and options, what will future healthcare partnerships look like?

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