In the first two articles, we looked back into the history of joint ventures (JVs), the factors leading to their emergence, and the potential benefits of a JV to a non-profit hospital or health system. We then looked at emerging trends in JVs and speculated as to the future directions that these models could follow to solve for rapidly evolving healthcare challenges. In this article, we will explore the “nuts and bolts” of considering and creating a hospital JV, which will allow us to bring the hypothetical and theoretical into the practical. If you are a hospital or health system considering forming a JV, there are some important factors to think through before embarking on this complex process.
JV partnerships have the ability to address many challenges faced by hospitals and health systems today. However, it is easy to “default” to a joint venture structure without thinking deeply about whether that is in fact the best way to organize collaborative activities. On the surface, a JV may appear to represent the “best of both worlds”—it can bring together the strengths of two or more organizations to create a new “super organization” (for example, the capital and community hospital operating expertise of an investor-owned company with the clinical prowess and brand appeal of a non-profit system or academic medical center). It is, however, important to not lose sight of what is driving the exploration of a potential JV formation.