Merger announcements have dominated recent news in healthcare. Rumors abound that St. Louis-based Ascension Health is considering a merger with Renton, Washington’s Providence St. Joseph Health.[1] Together, they would make the nation’s largest system of hospitals. Merger deals were also announced between Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health, and another between Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. All claim that uniting leads to more efficiency and overall better care. But the results are far from conclusive, and many independent hospitals simply don’t want to be acquired or part of a major merger. 

By design, stand-alone hospitals differ significantly from their larger counterparts. They value their independence, flexibility, and freedom from corporate mandates or value extraction that could ultimately detract from care. They are fixtures in their communities and have formed generational relationships with the patients they serve. They pride themselves on their agility and aptitude to bypass large-system bureaucracy.[2] Though there are undeniable strengths to remaining independent, there are just as many challenges. One of them is size and scale, which puts smaller hospitals in a difficult position when negotiating with insurers and suppliers. Often, they don’t have the perceived stature of larger systems to command the desired results. Mergers are one way to build scale, but it isn’t the only way. TPC offers an alternative that allows hospitals to remain independent while gaining the benefits of economies of scale and the shared knowledge of a larger system. 

TPC creates a virtual system of independent, community-based hospitals that together achieve sizable tangible value that lowers costs and enables Members to remain competitive. By way of standardization, pricing strategies, and performance optimization at the financial, operational, and clinical levels, TPC builds a framework for hospitals to remain independent but take advantage of their collective size to achieve similar results to national systems. This approach allows stand-alone hospitals to remain agile, while also providing access to the resources and benefits that only large scales allow. It’s the perfect solution for hospitals disinterested in merging, but wary of remaining isolated in an industry undergoing major change. 

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