Organizational and Environmental Factors Associated with Local Multihospital Systems: Precipitants for Coordination?

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Background: Local multihospital systems (LMSs) commonly struggle to effectively coordinate across system members. Although a recent taxonomy of LMSs found the majority of systems to display lower levels of differentiation, integration, and coordination, some categories of LMS forms exhibited higher levels of integration and coordination.

Purpose: This study examines organizational and environmental factors associated with LMS forms displaying higher levels of integration and coordination.

Methodology/approach: Applying a multitheoretical framework and drawing from sources including the American Hospital Association Annual Survey, Intellimed databases, and primary data collected from LMS communications, descriptive and multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the association between LMS forms and varied organizational and environmental characteristics among LMSs in Florida, Maryland, Nevada, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

Results: The results of analysis of variance, Games-Howell, and Fisher's exact tests identified significant relationships between each of the five LMS categories and varying market, competitive, organizational, and operational factors. A multinomial logistic regression analysis also distinguished the three most common LMS forms according to organizational and environmental factors.

Conclusion: Recognizing the varied degrees of integration and coordination across LMSs today, the results point to several factors that may explain such variation, including market size and resources, local competitors and their forms, organizational size and ownership, patient complexity, and regulatory restrictions.

Practice implications: With the continued promotion and development of innovative health care reform models and with the progressing expansion of care into outpatient sites and diverse settings, LMSs will continue to face greater pressure to integrate and coordinate services throughout the continuum of care across system components and service locations. Navigating the challenges of effective coordination requires administrators and policymakers to be cognizant of the organizational and environmental factors that may hinder or fuel coordination efforts across system components in local markets.


PMID: 32109925




Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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Health Care Management Review