Research on the impact of hospital mergers

The Foundation's Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization program was designed to support research, demonstration, and evaluation projects examining major changes in health care financing.This is a project to examine the St. Louis hospital market, which has experienced "extensive merger activity in recent years," to assess whether horizontal integration combined with purchaser pressure can shrink the excess capacity in a hospital system. They will also explore whether this occurs in a way that leads to more efficient utilization of hospital staff, equipment, and facilities. In particular, using Philadelphia as a control group, the researchers will: (1) develop and define stages of evolution that hospitals and hospital networks experience after becoming integrated through mergers, acquisitions, or network affiliations; (2) determine the extent to which horizontal integration among hospitals has led to reduced excess capacity, more efficient utilization of plant and equipment, a more streamlined workforce, and lower costs in the St. Louis market; and (3) develop a set of indicators that measure the impact of horizontal hospital integration and determine the stage of a network's evolution that could be applied to other communities and establish a baseline for St. Louis. The objective of this study is to provide policy makers with information about whether hospital mergers lead to measurable outcomes related to efficiency, particularly in the areas of resource supply, utilization, and cost.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $270,836.00

Awarded on: 6/28/1996

Time frame: 8/1/1996 - 10/31/1997

Grant Number: 29909


Economic and Social Research Institute

2100 M Street, N.W., Suite 605
Washington, 20037-1235


Jack A. Meyer
Project Director