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Noblis Insights Panel Finds Growing Interest in Hospital Affiliation as a Strategic Response to Challenging Market Conditions
Date:5/4/2009

FALLS CHURCH, Va., May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey from Noblis Health Innovation, a leading non-profit advisory firm to health providers, found that in the context of the current economic crisis, nearly a third of hospitals are "much more interested" in affiliation than a year ago. Conducted in April 2009, the affiliation study is the first in a series of surveys that will be conducted among the Noblis Insights Panel, a collection of more than 150 leading health care executives who have agreed to be periodically surveyed about health care industry trends and issues.

The Noblis study found that more than half of health care organizations surveyed indicated they are likely to pursue affiliation, the process of two health systems forming a partnership to deliver health services, in the coming year. According to the findings, interest in affiliation is highest among organizations with existing affiliations or organizations with deteriorating operating margins.

"Over the past six months, we have observed an increased interest among our clients in exploring affiliation options," said Kathleen Henchey, principal at Noblis Health Innovation. "To develop a better understanding and to jump-start the insights panel, our goal was to collect and share information about the number of hospitals that are interested in or are planning to affiliate and discover their reasons why."

The study's findings also suggest that affiliation may help the bottom line. Ninety percent of surveyed organizations with existing affiliation relationships have break-even or better operating margins, while only 65 percent of the unaffiliated are in the black. Organizations with deteriorating operating margins are more likely to express interest in affiliation than are those with stable or improving margins.

Panelists who are part of already affiliated organizations reported being most interested in gaining access to new geographic markets through affiliation, while independent organizations were more interested in using affiliation to enhance their access to capital. Both groups were interested in improving contracting leverage through affiliation.

Methodology: The affiliation study was conducted online among 84 participants of the Noblis Insights Panel, who are from hospitals, post-acute providers and physician organizations. Nearly three-fourths of the respondents were either C-suite or vice president-level executives within their respective organizations.

The full summary of the study titled, "Affiliation As A Strategic Response To Challenging Market Conditions," can be downloaded at www.noblis.org/healthcare. To schedule an interview with Kathleen Henchey, please contact Jorge Lavina, jlavina@cooperkatz.com or 917-595-3047, Katy Layton, klayton@cooperkatz.com or 917-595-3057 or Amy Lee, alee@cooperkatz.com or 917-595-3055.

About Noblis Health Innovation

Noblis Health Innovation advisors assist private-sector and government health organizations in achieving their missions through integrative and collaborative advisory services and research. Noblis combines strategic thinking with innovation to support clients' planning and performance needs. For more information, please visit www.noblis.org/Healthcare.

About Noblis

Noblis is a nonprofit, science, technology and strategy organization solving complex scientific, systems, process, and infrastructure problems in ways that benefit the public. Noblis brings the best of scientific thought, engineering know-how, and strategic insight to find solutions that are sounds, actionable, and sustainable. You will find Noblis at work in many fields, including health care; national security; transportation; criminal justice; energy and the environment; and oceans, atmosphere and space. Further information is available at noblis.org.

    Contacts:
    Jorge Lavina                                    Katy Layton
    CooperKatz for Noblis                           CooperKatz for Noblis
    +1.917.595.3047                                 +1.917.595.3057
    jlavina@cooperkatz.com                          klayton@cooperkatz.com


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SOURCE Noblis Health Innovation
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