Better Together? An Examination of the Relationship Between Acute Care Hospital Mergers and Patient Experience

Academic Article


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The United States is experiencing another wave of hospital mergers. Whether patients benefit from these mergers, however, remains an open issue for many interested stakeholders. One measure of the potential benefit of hospital mergers is how they affect patient experience. This study used a quasi-experimental design to examine the relationship between hospital mergers and four different Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) ratings (i.e., overall, physician communication, nurse communication, and staff responsiveness). The study findings showed an association between hospitals that experienced a merger and slower growth in HCAHPS scores for two of the four HCAHPS domains (overall and nurse communication) when compared to matching hospitals that did not merge. Findings from this study can guide and inform hospital administrators, health system boards, state and federal government regulators and policymakers, and others across the spectrum of healthcare stakeholders.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Attebery T; Hearld LR; Carroll N; Szychowski J; Weech-Maldonado R
  • Start Page

  • 330
  • End Page

  • 343
  • Volume

  • 65
  • Issue

  • 5