Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the pace of hospital and health system consolidation has accelerated to a level not seen since the late 1990s, when hospitals were reacting to the formation of HMOs. The year 2013 saw a total of 87 consolidation transactions, following 105 in 2012. This volume represents a significant increase over 58, the median number of transactions completed each year between 2001 and 2011.
Unlike the last wave of consolidation, which was driven primarily by financial and reimbursement considerations, today’s hospital mergers are just as likely to be between financially strong partners as they are to be in response to challenged operations or economics. Hospital companies increasingly are turning to mergers and acquisitions as a tool to improve quality, manage risk, access capital and contend with the changing regulatory environment. The articles in this collection explore the drivers of the current wave of consolidation, address the causes of transaction failures and review the range of structural alternatives available in the marketplace.
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