Through June, the pace of mergers and acquisitions among hospitals has held steady with 2009, which was slightly sluggish, according to Irving Levin Associates, which monitors such deals. Here may be one reason: stand-alone hospitals that have decided to hold on to their independence, for now at least.
Last year, solo hospitals accounted for an unusually large percentage (85%) of merger-and-acquisition activity, says Irvin Levin's Sandy Steever. Other healthcare analysts and industry executives have predicted further consolidation as health reform takes hold. Small, independent hospitals are considered likely targets because they lack the scale and clout that systems wield in negotiations with private insurers.