Partnering in the New Health Care Environment: 5 Questions for Boards

Reprinted with permission from the July/August 2017 issue of Trustee magazine, vol. 70, no. 7 © Copyright 2017 by Health Forum Inc. Permission granted for digital use only.

By Mary K. Totten and Anu R. Singh

Health care is transforming to a value-based model, with the goals of improved care quality, access and outcomes for consumers, at lower costs. The means of achieving these goals is the effective management of health and health care services over the continuum of a population’s care and service needs.

New competencies are required of hospitals and health systems to thrive in the new environment — clinical integration; consumer, clinical and business intelligence; operational efficiency; purchaser relationships; and optimized network development.

Hospitals and health systems are partnering to acquire or otherwise access the capabilities and efficiencies that let them provide services under new care delivery and payment arrangements. Partnership agreements include traditional structures, such as mergers and acquisitions, and collaborative arrangements, such as joint ventures, management services agreements and brand extensions.

Examples of such partnerships appear in Guide to Health Care Partnerships for Population Health Management and Value-based Care (Health Research & Educational Trust and Kaufman, Hall & Associates LLC, 2016, Complementing this guide, this workbook offers trustees and executive teams specifics around five questions that must be answered before partnering. These questions should be addressed during board and executive meetings to ensure that the leadership team identifies and secures arrangements that will best position the organization for success in the changing environment.

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