Post-Acute Care and Vertical Integration After the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

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The anticipated changes resulting from the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—including the proposed adoption of bundled payment systems and the promotion of accountable care organizations—have generated considerable controversy as U.S. healthcare industry observers debate whether such changes will motivate vertical integration activity. Using examples of accountable care organizations and bundled payment systems in the American post-acute healthcare sector, this article applies economic and sociological perspectives from organization theory to predict that as acute care organizations vary in the degree to which they experience environmental uncertainty, asset specificity, and network embeddedness, their motivation to integrate post-acute care services will also vary, resulting in a spectrum of integrative behavior.

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Journal of Healthcare Management

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