Hospital mergers enhance quality for patients and reduce costs, according to a Charles River Associates study released today.
 
The analysis, which was an update to a 2017 report, found that mergers can lead to enhanced quality through the standardization of clinical best practices, as evidenced by significant declines in the rates of readmission and mortality rates following mergers. In addition, it found mergers decrease costs and are associated with a statistically significant 2.3% reduction in annual operating expenses, and revenues per admission at acquired hospitals declined by a statistically significant 3.5% relative to non-merging hospitals, suggesting that “savings that accrue to merging hospitals are passed on to patients and their health plans.”
 
“Mergers have become one important means by which hospitals can provide their communities with high-quality, convenient and cost-effective care,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack, who discussed the study’s findings on a press call today. “The benefits of mergers allow hospitals to create connected networks of care and keep the focus where it belongs: on improving care for the patient.”
 
The study also highlights how scale is increasingly critical to develop and maintain the human and capital resources necessary to address social determinants of health, adopt population health strategies and promote value-driven care.
 
Rod Hochman, president and CEO of Providence St. Joseph Health in Renton, Wash., shared how building his health system through mergers has improved patient outcomes and produced financial savings and an expansion of mental health care services. In addition, he added that mergers have allowed his health system to improve maternal health for patients, keep operating costs low, and provide more resources to rural hospitals.
 
“In every instance where we’ve had a merger, we’ve made a commitment to the savings we are giving to the community,” said Hochman, who is a member of the AHA Board of Trustees. He will become chair of the association in 2021.

Related News Articles

Headline
The AHA Friday outlined a number of actions Congress could take to help the nation prepare for the next pandemic, noting that the current pandemic also remains…
Headline
A National Quality Forum task force today released a report identifying opportunities to advance safe, appropriate, person-centered care over the next decade…
Headline
The Department of Health and Human Services today said its Office of Minority Health will partner with the Morehouse School of Medicine to deliver education…
Headline
Hospitalization rates for COVID-19 were nearly four times higher for black, and two times higher for Hispanic, Medicare beneficiaries than for white Medicare…
Headline
The Department of Health and Human Services should develop a workforce target for the National Disaster Medical System to ensure it can effectively respond to…
Headline
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Health Wednesday held a hearing to discuss COVID-19’s disproportionate effect on racial and ethnic…