Geoff Brenner, President and CEO of TPC, recently joined MarketScale Healthcare for their podcast series. Geoff discussed how TPC supports community-based hospitals who desire to remain independent.
If you feel like there are fewer community hospitals today than there used to be, it’s not just your imagination. Statistics show that in 1975 there were 7,156 hospitals in the U.S.; today that number has fallen to under 5,600 facilities. While the American Hospital Association classifies 4,840 of these as community hospitals, many may still be affiliated with a larger network or system. Very few community hospitals are true standalone, independent facilities. Which begs the question, in an increasingly volatile healthcare marketplace, is further decline in the number of hospitals imminent, and are those standalone independents at risk of becoming obsolete? Let’s take a look.
Merger announcements have dominated recent news in healthcare. Rumors abound that St. Louis-based Ascension Health is considering a merger with Renton, Washington’s Providence St. Joseph Health. Together, they would make the nation’s largest system of hospitals. Merger deals were also announced between Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health, and another between Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. All claim that uniting leads to more efficiency and overall better care. But the results are far from conclusive, and many independent hospitals simply don’t want to be acquired or part of a major merger.
Hospitals are hectic, busy places, where it can be difficult to manage all aspects of operations thoroughly. This is particularly true of vendor relationships. In order to achieve optimal performance, vendors need to be held accountable for their results – for the sake of both their contractual obligations and the welfare of patients.