The past few years have brought increasing consolidation of the state’s hospitals into larger networks, with the two biggest networks emerging as Yale New Haven Health and Hartford Healthcare. Coupled with hospital foundations acquiring individual medical practices and clinics — Connecticut has seen huge shifts in its health care delivery system.
At the same time, a handful of community-based hospitals have considered being purchased by out-of-state, for-profit hospital chains. No such sales have come to fruition, yet — but smaller hospitals are struggling to maintain their footing in a high-stakes competitive atmosphere.
In addition, seven community hospitals announced that they were joining together to leverage resources and pool their bargaining power, while maintaining their independence. This Value Care Alliance represents another response to the pressures of hospital survival.
The Foundation has been watching all this and is increasingly concerned about the overall consolidation trend, particularly:
- the impact on the quality of patient care
- the increasing cost of health care for individuals, employers and taxpayers
- the narrowing of patient choice of providers and hospitals
- the potential loss of community-based health care resources
In the fall of 2014, the Foundation released a report and series of supporting documents that provide a snapshot of the State of Connecticut’s hospitals and gives an overview of experience in other states. The report, The Changing Hospital Landscape, offered as a resource to policymakers who grapple with this complex issue.
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