Over the past 20 years, the percentage of the nation's hospitals over 200 beds that are part of health systems has risen from 56 to 77. The seemingly inexorable trend toward system expansion has caused industry observers to state frequently that stand-alone community hospitals are “dinosaurs.” However, there are circumstances under which stand-alone hospitals can continue to thrive, at least for the foreseeable future.

In this whitepaper, we describe a subset of advantages shared by successful independent hospitals. These market and internal characteristics enable many of the remaining stand-alone hospitals to meet their mission objectives, fund routine and strategic capital needs, build robust ambulatory and physician networks and fend off competition from larger systems. 

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