Population Health

Research Seminar with Adam Sacarny, PhD

The Anatomy of a Hospital System Merger: The Patient Did Not Respond Well to Treatment
Open to Penn Affiliates

12:00p.m. – 1:00p.m. ET December 6, 2022 In-Person Event

Colonial Penn Center Auditorium, 3641 Locust Walk

There is an ongoing merger wave in the U.S. hospital industry, but it remains an open question how hospital mergers change, or fail to change, hospital behavior, performance, and outcomes. In this research, we open the “black box” of practices within hospitals in the context of a mega-merger between two large for-profit chains. Benchmarking the effects of the merger against the acquirer’s stated aims, we show that they achieved some of their goals: they harmonized their electronic medical records and sent managers to target hospitals; after the acquisition, managerial processes were similar across hospitals in the merged chain. However, these interventions failed to drive detectable gains in profitability or patient outcomes. Our findings demonstrate the importance of hospital organizations and internal processes for merger research and policy in health care and the economy more generally.

Co-hosted with the Health Care Management Department at the Wharton School.

Please note: In-person attendance at this event is preferred. Virtual access will be provided to registrants who are unable to be on campus.


Adam Sacarny, PhD

Assistant Professor, Health Policy and Management, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Adam Sacarny, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. Sacarny’s research explores the relationship between health care payment policy, provider and patient decision-making, and clinical quality. Much of this work involves using randomized controlled trials to test interventions in the health care delivery system. His research on health care providers has studied the effects of behavioral interventions on overprescribing, the adoption of hospital documentation and coding practices, and the relationship between hospital clinical outcomes and market share. He earned his PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.