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Hospitals, facing massive new competition, struggling to keep patients’ loyalty

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Hospital systems are merging at an accelerating rate to deal with declining inpatient populations and lower reimbursement from insurers. At the same time, they face rapidly increasing competition from such facilities  as CVS’s Minute Clinics and from insurance companies that are getting into direct provision  of healthcare.

So hospitals are becoming more frantic about gaining and keeping the affection of patients.   “Hospital executives are realizing that someone else, including an insurance company employing the nurse at a walk-in clinic or the doctor at a surgery center, wants to take over their relationship with patients — and the potential revenue that those patients represent,” a New York Times article says.

Hospitals will have no choice but to use their mergers to reinvent themselves rather than simply raise prices, Thomas Cassels, a consultant at the Advisory Board, told The Times.

They know patients can go somewhere else.

The Times paraphrased Mr. Cassels as saying: “The fundamental question is whether hospital groups have what it takes to use their increased scale to radically change.”

To read the story, please hit this link.

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