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Community Hospital Blog

November 2012
What does it take for community hospitals to remain independent?

In today’s healthcare industry, more and more hospitals are exploring various types of affiliations, ranging from governance and ownership transfers to business management contracts and clinical partnerships. While collaboration and consolidation are on the rise, plenty of hospitals remain independent. These standalone hospitals often share certain characteristics.

 

In an Oct. 31 article for Becker’s Hospital Review, CHC’s President and CEO Mike Williams discusses factors correlating with independence: size and demographics of the community; payer mix; strong finances (i.e., accumulated cash); and strong clinical relationships with physicians and institutions.

 

Williams also weighs in on a tough question: In today’s healthcare industry, is independence something hospitals should strive for? “Every hospital is unique,” he says, offering hospitals some considerations to evaluate:

  • How has the hospital been managed in the past?
  • What are its financial ratios?
  • Does it have a “war chest” of money to depend on as things get more financially challenging?
  • Has it sought outside consultative opinions to evaluate its cost structure and operational efficiency?
  • Have the physicians networked with peers around the country to make sure they understand how the hospital’s outcomes compare to other similarly positioned institutions?

A hospital can stay independent with sufficient motivation and finances, and if that’s the best way to serve the community, the article concludes.

 

Read the full Becker’s article: “To Be or Not To Be Independent: 5 Considerations for Community Hospitals.”

Tags: Hospital Board Advisory, Independence, Operational Assessment , Strategic Direction

CHC in the Spotlight