The Race for Scale: Innovative partnerships achieve scale without adding bricks & mortar

January 2020 Inside Edge
January 2020 Inside Edge

Can U.S. health systems build scale without acquiring more hospitals? Find the answer in our latest SI Industry Inside Edge “The Race for Scale: Innovative partnerships achieve scale without adding bricks & mortar,” featuring interviews with Chris Pass, CFO, John Muir Health; Heather Wall, chief commercial officer, Civica Rx; Laishy Williams-Carson, CIO, Bon Secours Mercy; Eduardo Conrado, EVP & chief strategy & innovations officer, Ascension; Joel Shalowitz, MD, MBA, adjunct professor of preventive medicine, Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine; and Mitch Morris, MD, EVP, and Nick Howell, SVP, Optum.

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Click on photos for bios.

Chris Pass
Chris Pass
Heather Wall
Heather Wall
Laishy Williams-Carlson
Laishy Williams-Carlson
Eduardo Conrado
Eduardo Conrado
Joel Shalowitz MD, MBA, FACP
Joel Shalowitz MD, MBA, FACP
Mitch Morris MD
Mitch Morris MD
Nick Howell
Nick Howell

 

 

 

 


INTRODUCTION | That U.S. healthcare is both mission- and market-driven is nowhere more evident than in the industry’s continuing consolidation. The most recent era of mergers and acquisitions (M&As), begun in the 1990s and slightly slowing in the mid-2010s, is accelerating today driven by an unsustainable cost curve and the growth of digital health and consumerism—the latter evident in the trend toward consumer-friendly health-system names like CommonSpirit (formerly CHI and Dignity Health) and Northern Light (formerly Eastern Maine). However, just as poetic branding signals a radical new shift to embrace consumers and customers, the need to achieve scale in a digital, consumer world is causing health systems to embrace innovative partnership models to achieve scale without adding the “weight” of new hospitals. Shifting from bricks & mortar to partnering with other players—other health systems as well as more disruptive, hybrid entities—signals that healthcare is moving beyond a provider- and hospital-centric model to one focused on customers. No one is saying health-system M&A activity has stopped. It hasn’t. But a new vision of the growth-and-scale calculus may change how we define what exactly a health system is.

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