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Consolidation in the Belgian hospital sector

How to successfully create value through optimal collaboration

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Quality of medical care for patients, improved care pathways, optimisation of operational efficiency, and financial performance. In this report, we dive into these key drivers of collaboration, amongst other, and outline the five forms of collaboration Belgian hospitals can choose to capture value.

Over the past years, hospitals in Belgium have increasingly shifted toward closer collaboration. Now that Belgian hospitals face various other challenges, the focus is on identifying the most effective collaboration methods and extracting value from them.

Hospitals can choose from five forms of collaboration, some of which can coexist, while others are mandated by law, each serving strategic objectives:

  • Enhanced cooperation: hospitals work together closely on specific initiatives or projects while maintaining their distinct legal and operational autonomy
  • Association of services: legally formalising a sustainable partnership between two or more hospitals by jointly operating one or more care services, departments, functions, units, or technical medical services
  • Grouping of hospitals: partners draft a proper agreement on the collaboration legal form, the distribution of activities, the offering specialisations, and the facilities/equipment usage while ensuring complementarity in medical disciplines 
  • Corporate integration: brings together separate hospitals with separate accreditations under a single management 
  • Full merger: brings together separately licensed hospitals under a single administrator with a single accreditation (must be within a radius of 35 km from each other) 

Collaboration between two or more hospitals can unlock value through various strategic avenues. Alliances and partnerships can result in up to 10% value, and complete mergers can even result in up to 20% value. Continuous execution of all stages in the mergers and acquisitions lifecycle is crucial and maximises the value created through collaboration.

Read the full report to learn more about the opportunities, challenges, and collaboration models.  

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