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"Horizontal integration/vertical integration" of health care

One cannot be involved in U.S. health care for very long these days without hearing the term "integration." Specifically, we hear a great deal about "horizontal integration" and "vertical integration" of health care services. So, what do these terms really mean? Do you feel that such integration represents positive change for health care delivery in our country? Why, or why not?

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In respect to healthcare, horizontal integration usually describes the merger of various healthcare organizations, such as a group of independent hospitals becoming one business ...