A new report by the American Hospital Association (AHA) details that health systems are increasingly feeling pressure to expand their hospital’s scale to meet the needs of the communities they serve.1,2

A recent article from Health Leaders noted that the pressure to do so has substantially increased throughout COVID-19, especially since 138 local community hospitals have closed since 2010.3 This often forces patients to seek treatment in other communities with greater health access.

When asked about the benefits of partnership and mergers to help hospitals increase their scale, AHA CEO Rick Pollack shared that throughout the public health emergency hospitals, and the six million men and women who serve in them, continue to play a vital role in the overall health and well-being of the communities they serve. Pollack further stated the hospitals that sought out strategic partnership found it to be the most effective decision when it came to maintaining the high-quality care needed to treat their patients on a larger scale.

Integrating a strategic partnership can help alleviate the pressures felt across the industry and assist in generating optimal patient and facility outcomes regardless of the healthcare landscape.

The AHA report also noted that hospitals who opted for a strategic partnership or merger experienced the following benefits:

  • Enhanced resources to support consumer-centric strategies that improve the patient experience
  • Improved accessibility and affordability of care
  • Stronger financial stability – helping to further aid in care delivery, technology, and population health infrastructure
  • Reduced care costs while enhancing the quality of patient treatment

Having a dedicated team of experts to help with challenges around care delivery and outcomes, access to resources, regulatory shifts, financial stability and patient volume fluctuations is crucial for both short- and long-term hospital outcomes. 

“Hospitals will need continued flexibility to seek partners as they work to recover from the pandemic's impacts on their staff, operations and financial health,” the report concludes.


  1. Cheney, C. (2021, October 14). Hospital mergers, acquisitions, and Partnerships Drive several benefits, report says. HealthLeaders Media. Retrieved October 27, 2021, from https://www.healthleadersmedia.com/clinical-care/hospital-mergers-acquisitions-and-partnerships-drive-several-benefits-report-says.
  2. AHA. (2021, October). Partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions can provide benefits to certain hospitals and communities: AHA. American Hospital Association. Retrieved October 27, 2021, from https://www.aha.org/standardsguidelines/2021-10-08-partnerships-mergers-and-acquisitions-can-provide-benefits-certain
  3. University of North Carolina. (2021, July 9). Rural Hospital closures. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. Retrieved October 27, 2021, from https://www.shepscenter.unc.edu/programs-projects/rural-health/rural-hospital-closures/.
By Kindred Hospitals