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Alternatively, service lines, as opposed to entire institutions, might be consolidated.
For example, obstetrics could be closed at one hospital and utilization moved across the street, so one obstetrics program would replace what had been two.
There are numerous examples of hospital mergers that have blown up on the runway.
Of even greater concern are the costs of mergers that fail after they are closed, then end in dissolution.
In health care, many merged models have continued to operate more as holding companies than unified enterprises.
Not surprisingly, they often generate little differentiated value beyond what they demonstrated prior to being brought under common ownership.
These models are emerging under a variety of such labels as alliances, affiliations, collaboratives and cooperatives. The shift to network models may reflect a growing recognition that mergers often fail to deliver their promised benefits.
In such a case, one of the hospitals could be closed and its volume shifted to the other.Quietly but pervasively, a shift toward new structures, not based on consolidation of assets, is occurring.Major efforts are under way among providers in several states, including Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Despite persistent predictions of a merger stampede, a growing number of hospitals and health systems are moving in a fundamentally different direction.They are seeking the benefits of combined effort without giving up ownership.