Chicago associates Chris Anderson and Fatema Zanzi co-wrote the “best practices” article for Insights titled, “Responding to the Paradigm Shift in Health Care Delivery: Health System Affiliation Strategies.”

The in-depth article notes that health care reform continues to emphasize the perceived need to further integrate operations as the industry faces “the redesign and consolidation of the entire health care delivery system.”

Chris and Fatema say the process of identifying potential hospital system affiliation partners requires considerable risk assessment with regard to both (1) the optimal affiliation strategy and (2) the potential anticompetitive effects of an affiliation.

It is also important, they say, for hospital systems to clearly identify and document the “pro-competitive” effects of a proposed affiliation and to effectively communicate the benefits of a potential affiliation to stakeholders, such as patients, employees, community leaders, physicians, and payers.

In their article, they delve into these issues and conclude that when assessing each institution’s affiliation strat­egy, “one size does not fit all, and strategies must be narrowly tailored to each institution’s culture and market dynamics.”  The article goes on to outline alternative strategies designed to increase a hospital’s prominence in the marketplace without pursuing a traditional corporate affiliation or merger.

In this “rapidly changing landscape of the health care industry,” they say, “governing bodies must demonstrate a willingness and courage to respond to challenges posed by this new era.”

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