Health systems are increasing community value. Most studies examining the value produced by the formation of health systems have shown increased prices but did not explore improvement in quality. Our analysis shows that hospital members of health systems are starting to pull ahead of independent hospitals in delivering higher quality.
For this year's Modern Healthcare supplement, we examined correlations among health-system membership, high performance on the 100 Top Hospitals National Balanced Scorecard and pharmaceutical intensity. Previous analyses of health systems have not always demonstrated a significant benefit in terms of quality or cost. In fact, formation of systems has often been associated with higher costs and little or no change in quality.