This article first appeared in the April 2017 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
The steady march of merger, acquisition, and partnership (MAP) activity shows few signs of abatement, and the long list of factors contributing to healthcare industry consolidation—healthcare reform, the move to value-based care, and provider needs for greater scale and geographic coverage, to name just a few—continue to reshape the industry landscape.
However, unlike with last year's HealthLeaders MAP survey, we can no longer say that there are no mitigating factors with the potential to slow MAP activity. With a new administration in Washington promising to make significant changes to the healthcare industry, notably to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, substantial change appears to be in the wind, and has the potential to bring a pause in MAP activity as providers await greater clarity from the administration.
According to the 2017 HealthLeaders Mergers, Acquisitions, and Partnerships Survey, for example, more than half (54%) of respondents say there are no changes to their organization's MAP plans because of the incoming Trump administration. Another 19% say they are putting some things on hold until they know more, and 9% are revising and updating some plans. No respondents (0%) say that their organization is making extensive changes to its plans.
"I don't think there's enough clarity out of the administration on the healthcare front to be able to pivot yet, and it's been such a short period of time that I'm not surprised to see people waiting to know more before reacting," says Kevin Griffin, MBA, senior vice president of financial planning and analysis at Novant Health, a nonprofit integrated healthcare network with 2,655-licensed beds, 14 medical centers, and approximately 1,500 physicians in more than 500 locations, based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and the lead advisor for this Intelligence Report.
Jonathan Bees is a research analyst for HealthLeaders.