The Taiwan government implemented the National Health Insurance (NHI) program in 1995 to provide comprehensive and uniform health services to the entire population. The ensuing phenomenon from the implementation of the NHI program is the furious competition in the health care market that has become matured. To survive, hospitals need to enhance efficiency and provide high quality of care to the patients. Often, hospitals cope with external environmental changes through the choice and application of appropriate strategies. Forming strategic alliances is an increasingly adopted strategy by hospitals. The primary goals of this analysis were to explore the current state of strategic hospital alliances in Taiwan, and analyze the impacts of forming strategic alliances on hospitals' performances. The study population included all 127 district teaching hospitals and above in Taiwan. Structured questionnaires were mailed to the high-level management of those hospitals. In the end, 75 questionnaires were returned, representing a 59.1% response rate. After deleting the invalid questionnaires due to the facts that the respondents were not the aforementioned high-level management of hospitals or they did not identify their job titles, and some responding hospitals had not had the strategic alliance experience, the remaining sample hospitals to be further analyzed were 56. Among the findings were that respondents rated the highest average score at ”improvement of hospital's image and reputation” amongst all questionnaire items measuring the impacts of strategic hospital alliances on performances, while ”decrease of the average length of stay” got the lowest average score. In addition, results suggested that hospital ownership and degree of competition of local healthcare market exerted significant influences on performance evaluation of strategic hospital alliances.
- Strategic hospital alliance