Firmly Established Integrated Networks Demand Stronger Physician Links

The staying power of integrated health networks (IHN) is convincing even the staunchest marketing naysayers that, where managed care contracting is concerned, there is strength
in numbers. As of March, 290 hospitals have shifted into IHN affiliations. Although this represents a net decrease of 38 hospitals belonging to an IHN since January 1999 (from
3,096 to 3,058), the industry's consolidation trends will remain steady, says Therese Zanglin, a senior analyst with SMG Marketing in Chicago. SMG recently ran the numbers on IHN
activity for the last three years and found that since 1997 these affiliations have been on the upswing for the most part.