The Intersection of Nephrology Partnerships and Health System Expansion: Insights and Actionable Advice

Ben H.

Hatched by Ben H.

Sep 21, 2023

3 min read


The Intersection of Nephrology Partnerships and Health System Expansion: Insights and Actionable Advice


In the healthcare industry, partnerships and organizational changes are essential for success. This article highlights the recent developments in nephrology partnerships by Strive Health and the expansion strategies employed by various health systems. By analyzing these trends, we can gain insights into the changing landscape of healthcare delivery and draw actionable advice for healthcare professionals.

Nephrology Partnerships: A Path to Success in Value-Based Care

Strive Health has emerged as a leader in nephrology partnerships, boasting affiliations with 500 nephrology providers. These partnerships are crucial for success in risk-based and alternate payment models, such as Medicare's Comprehensive Kidney Care Contracting (CKCC) program and Medicare Advantage global risk contracts. By integrating seamlessly into the practices of nephrologists, Strive Health enables the delivery of value-based care and positions these providers for success in innovative payment programs.

Unique Insight: Strive Health's Patient-Focused Approach

What sets Strive Health apart is its patient-focused approach. Nephrology practices, such as Renal Associates of West Michigan and Midwest Nephrology Associates, see Strive as an extension of their practice and a valuable partner. This is particularly beneficial for smaller practices that lack their own data analytics department. By leveraging Strive's leading technology and innovative clinical resources, nephrologists can elevate their practice and thrive in value-based care.

Health System Expansion: Adapting to Changing Demographics

Health systems across the United States are making organizational changes to meet the demands of an aging population and strong population growth in certain areas. HCA Healthcare, Community Health Systems, Universal Health Services, and Mayo Clinic are all pursuing expansion strategies in new or existing markets. These expansions include the construction of new hospitals, the addition of beds, and the opening of freestanding emergency departments. By strategically expanding their footprint, these health systems can ensure they are positioned to meet the growing demand for healthcare services.

Unique Insight: Labor Cost Reduction and Improved Margins

One notable trend in health systems' Q2 earnings reports is the decline in labor costs from the previous year. HCA Healthcare reduced contract labor costs by 20% and hired 9% more nurses. This cost reduction, combined with improvements in inpatient and outpatient volumes, has resulted in an increase in operating margins. However, it is important to note that the median year-to-date operating margin index was still relatively low at 1.4% in June, highlighting the ongoing challenges faced by health systems in maintaining financial stability.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace Value-Based Partnerships: Healthcare providers, especially those in specialized fields like nephrology, should seek strategic partnerships with organizations like Strive Health. These partnerships can provide access to valuable resources and expertise in value-based care, positioning providers for success in alternative payment models.
  • 2. Stay Ahead of Demographic Shifts: Health systems should proactively assess population growth and demographic changes in their service areas. By expanding strategically and adapting to these shifts, health systems can ensure they are meeting the healthcare needs of their communities effectively.
  • 3. Optimize Efficiency and Reduce Costs: Health systems should focus on streamlining operations and reducing labor costs through measures like reducing reliance on contract labor. This can help improve operating margins and financial performance while maintaining the quality of care provided.


The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, requiring healthcare providers and systems to adapt and innovate. Nephrology partnerships, as exemplified by Strive Health, offer valuable insights into successful value-based care models. Simultaneously, health systems must navigate demographic changes and optimize efficiency to meet the growing demand for healthcare services. By incorporating the actionable advice outlined in this article, healthcare professionals can position themselves for success in an ever-changing landscape.

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