If you attended my recent webinar, The Impending Death of Hospitals, you know that I firmly believe that healthcare delivery is shifting away from hospitals and their aligned physicians. In fact, the prognosis for hospitals, at least as we know them today, is guarded.
As another guidepost in this transformation, Tenet Healthcare Corporation just announced (on June 16, 2015) the completion of a joint venture that will combine its ambulatory and imaging centers with those of United Surgical Partners International. The venture will do business under the USPI brand through its now combined 249 ambulatory surgery centers, 18 short-stay surgical hospitals and 20 imaging centers.
Tenet will be the majority owner of the USPI venture and has rights to become the sole owner over time.
I see this as a major hedge by Tenet against the financial and technological trends that are likely to ravage the hospital industry in the very near future. As cases move out of high cost, one size fits none facilities to freestanding, more efficient locales, hospitals will no longer serve as the hub of healthcare delivery. Like dormant rose bushes, they will be pared down to their bare minimum.
Physicians and physician groups of all sorts must engage in similar sorts of hedge strategies to increase the chances of remaining relevant in the changing healthcare market.
Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.
Mark F. Weiss