The Chartis Forum

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Academic Medical Center-Regional Health System Mergers: Notes from the Field

The national media are focused on mega-consolidation, such as CHI-Dignity and Advocate-Aurora, as well as new combinations such as Walmart-Humana and Amazon-Pillpack. However, less attention is being paid to the increasing level of partnership activity linking multibillion-dollar academic and non-academic healthcare providers to form integrated delivery systems. Successful implementation of such partnership requires parties to address remarkably different organizational models and cultures that may create significant integration challenges. Ultimately those that can execute and achieve meaningful integration at multiple levels — from a shared vision and strategic goals, to market-leading joint clinical programs, to shared infrastructure and capabilities — will be positioned to unlock the true value that these
relationships offer.

Our experience designing and implementing such partnerships, and numerous others, suggests several key themes and lessons learned which can inform academic medical centers (AMC) and regional health systems (RHS) as they seek to advance their existing relationships and evaluate new partnership models.

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