In a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal, AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock responds to a recent op-ed piece on hospital mergers and acquisitions. “We all want hospitals to continue the good work of coordinating care, and integration across facilities is a particularly good way for hospitals to organize themselves to do so,” Umbdenstock writes. “Coordination requires the kind of teamwork that often works best when everyone is under the same ownership umbrella. There are lots of reasons for this. Out-of-date laws and regulations premised on keeping hospitals and doctors at arms’ length are still in force – that’s why they had to be suspended in the [Affordable Care Act] to create [Accountable Care Organizations]. Also, hospitals need capital and must be good credit risks now more than ever to pay for and maintain expensive, but necessary, technology like electronic health records and to scale up to meet and exceed new quality measures. More fundamentally, the hospital field is realigning itself to adapt to a rapidly changing environment in which new technologies will change how and where health care is delivered, new competitors will offer many of the services previously only available at the hospital and consumers will have the tools to be real shoppers for health care based on price and value. Viewing changes in the hospital field through the rearview mirror of yesterday’s regulations isn’t a luxury consumers want or can afford.”