By Kenneth Kaufman
I have given a number of talks over the past few months, and despite the fact that all of those presentations have been delivered virtually, the question-and-answer sessions have remained interesting and robust. The most frequent question asked has been about possible consolidation of the provider space post-COVID.
Most of these questions start from the perspective that another round of significant consolidation is coming. That perspective seems to rest on two key assumptions:
What is clear is that every hospital organization must have a well-held point of view about its own role in the next phase of healthcare mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and partnerships.
That point of view will pivot around three significant strategic questions:
First, COVID has catalyzed a major shift in economic and competitive dynamics. Few organizations of any kind can expect pre-COVID strategy to be unaffected. Hospital and health system executives need to carefully and thoroughly assess their organizations’ capabilities, their competitive environment, and their path forward.
Second, as Jim Collins notes, a most important corporate character trait is preparedness and readiness. There is no way to anticipate the pace of post-COVID change. Now is the time to prepare, to be ready, and to consider your organization’s options.
Later, in fact, could be too late.
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