AHA: Hospital mergers and acquisitions not a huge trend

Although there have been mergers and acquisitions involving hundreds of hospitals in the U.S. in recent years, they reflect only a small part of the overall acute care landscape, AHA News Now reported.

"There's no question that the healthcare field is undergoing a period of fundamental transformation in which the very model of healthcare delivery is being changed in order to improve quality and lower costs," said Sharis Pozen, a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, during testimony on behalf of the American Hospital Association for the House Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform and Commercial and Antitrust Law.

The number and value of healthcare-related deals grew rapidly during the second quarter of this year, although hospital transactions were down, according to recent data by Irving Levin & Associates.

But according to both Pozen and the AHA, only a handful of hospitals have been involved in such transactions. A recent survey by the AHA concluded that only 12 percent of U.S. hospitals were involved in a merger or acquisition between 2007 and this year.

The AHA survey, which was conducted by the organization's Center for Healthcare Economics and Policy and updated a previously released study, also concluded that many of the transactions involved financially struggling hospitals and their long-term viability was shored up by the deals.

To learn more:
- read the AHA News Now article
- read the AHA study (.pdf)

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