Institutional factors associated with hospital partnerships for population health: A pooled cross-sectional analysis

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND: Hospitals are increasingly engaging in partnerships to address population health in response to national policies, such as value-based payment models. However, little is known about how institutional factors influence hospital partnerships for population health. PURPOSE: Guided by institutional theory, we examine the association between institutional pressures (coercive, normative, and mimetic isomorphism) and hospital partnerships for population health. METHODOLOGY: A pooled cross-sectional analysis used an unbalanced panel of 10,777 hospital-year observations representing respondents to a supplemental question of the American Hospital Association's annual survey (2015-2017). The analysis included descriptive and bivariate statistics, and regression models that adjusted for repeated observations to examine the relationship between key independent variables and partnerships over time. FINDINGS: In regression analyses, we found the most support for measures of coercive (e.g., regulatory factors) isomorphism, with nonprofit status, participation in accountable care organizations, and acceptance of bundled payments, all being consistently and significantly associated with partnerships across all organization types. Modest increases were observed from 2015 to 2017 for hospital partnerships with public health organizations (+2.8% points, p < .001), governmental organizations (+2.0% points, p = .009), schools (+4.1% points, p < .001), and businesses (+2.2% points, p = .007). PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Our results suggest that institutional factors, particularly those related to regulatory policies and programs, may influence hospital partnerships to support population health. Findings from this study can assist hospital leaders in assessing the factors that can support or impede the creation of partnerships to support their population health efforts.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ellis Hilts K; Gibson PJ; Blackburn J; Yeager VA; Halverson PK; Menachemi N
  • Start Page

  • 254
  • End Page

  • 262
  • Volume

  • 47
  • Issue

  • 3