By Karen A. Hohenstein
Merger? Affiliation? Strategic partnership? Hospitals and systems are seeking scale in an unprecedented manner. Smaller organizations will struggle to compete in a market obsessed with generating scale, especially given the investment and organizational energy required to develop a system’s clinical integration approach and infrastructure. A clinically integrated network spanning multiple organizations, or super CIN, can be an alternative to merger for organizations that want to retain their independence yet not go it alone in creating the infrastructure and capabilities to participate in shared savings contracting. However, hospitals need to make sure they are designing the super CIN structure for long-term value, not just short-term savings. Before joining one, boards have a handful of issues to consider.