In recent years, there has been an increasing trend of hospital mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the United States. While hospital M&A can result in many benefits for patients, such as improved access to care and increased provider options, there are also potential risks that need to be considered. One of the most significant risks is that hospital M&A can lead to increased prices for patients. In addition, hospital M&A can also impact the quality of care that patients receive. For example, if two hospitals merge and one of the hospitals has a lower quality of care, this can lower the overall quality of care for patients.
There is evidence to suggest that the negative and positive effects of certain medications can be measured in terms of patient/consumer satisfaction, communities, and employees. There have been numerous arguments in favor of hospital consolidation in the past that focused on efficiency and cost savings. As hospitals strive to become more efficient, there may be a shift in delivery and availability of services. The FTC has taken on several hospital and doctor practice mergers in recent years. Some hospitals believe antitrust laws conflict with the goal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The FTC believes that both laws have similar goals, such as lowering costs, increasing access to care, and improving quality. How does the hospital industry impact patients through mergers and acquisitions?
The Journal of Economic Health, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 767-791, September 2000, is a journal that investigates economic issues. The Hackensack-Meridian merger may lead to the launch of new health insurance companies. Modern Healthcare, on October 17, 2014, http://www.modernhealth.com/article/1017/NEWS/310179961. The Synthesis Project can be found in the following pages. Mergers are on the rise in hospitals, but standalone facilities are finding ways to survive as well. Carrier Clinic, a psychiatric facility in Somerset County that has been a part of the community since the early 1900s, has been acquired by Hackensack Meridian Health. Saint Peter’s Healthcare System and Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Center have signed a non-binding letter of intent to explore a potential partnership.
Hospitals that merged and acquired reduced their annual operating expenses per admission by a total of 22% during the 2014–2018. The revisited analysis revealed a 3% decrease in operating expenses.
There has been a shift in hospital merger and acquisition activity in 2021, according to the report, as fewer independent, unaffiliated community hospitals seek partnerships. Researchers also noted that the reason for seeking a partnership could have changed.
Overall, the mergers had no significant impact on technical efficiency, with a negative effect of 2- 2.6% on cost efficiency.
How Does A Merger Impact The Patient?
Mergers do not have an impact on patient care quality or lead to poorer outcomes, according to overwhelming data. In other words, most studies show that mergers do not improve clinical quality; it remains neutral or deteriorates as a result.
According to PwC, the healthcare sector experienced 255 mergers and acquisitions in the second quarter of 2018. There were 13 percent more healthcare mergers in 2017 as compared to the previous year. If a healthcare monopoly exists, opponents argue that it would result in rising healthcare costs and care access issues. According to proponents of structural change, it is possible to lower healthcare costs while lowering patient costs. According to the American Hospital Association (AHA), healthcare mergers and acquisitions saved hospitals nearly $5.8 million between 2009 and 2014. However, the consolidation of healthcare organizations can present limited competition. As a result of anti-competitive practices, a large health system may have the ability to charge high prices for services.
The consolidation of hospitals is being done to be more competitive in the current healthcare landscape. Because of mergers and acquisitions, there is no competition in the healthcare industry, so patients must rely on a single entity to provide care. Merger proponents believe that these changes will improve care quality in the healthcare industry. When a medical group combines its operations, it can reduce the number of low-volume surgeries or the number of procedures that patients have to go through at an organization with limited experience. Large health systems are likely to have reasonable minimum standards for surgical procedures. In a JAMA article published in 2018, it was discovered that healthcare consolidation increased the risk of adverse patient safety events.
A merger, on the other hand, may result in a reduction in the quality of care for patients because the merged organization may not be able to provide the level of care that the patients require. If there is a lack of resources, a lack of teamwork, or a lack of communication, this could be a problem. The July 2021 data shows how hospital mergers and acquisitions affect their employees. Workflow disruptions and organizational changes caused by mergers and acquisitions can frequently result in increased workload and burden on employees. According to the findings, providers going through a merger or acquisition are less likely to be willing to stay on and more likely to experience burnout. Furthermore, the study found that mergers and acquisitions can have both positive and negative effects on patient quality of care. A hospital that acquires a managerial, clinical, or operational expertise may transfer that knowledge to a competitor. When a company acquires another, it can have a positive or negative impact on the quality of care.
The Consequences Of Hospital Mergers
Hospitals frequently have unintended consequences as a result of mergers, such as reduced access to services, job losses, and decreased quality of care. In addition, mergers can lead to fewer competitors and a lower level of quality of care, potentially raising healthcare costs. Changes in this area may have a significant impact on employees, as wage growth and job security are likely to be reduced.