I also wonder if next year will see an increase in the number of for-profit hospitals and health systems purchasing not-for-profit hospitals. As reimbursement cuts weaken balance sheets, the for-profit healthcare sector is better positioned financially to make acquisitions. Also keep your eye out for another investor, the private equity firm. Interest in hospitals from these firms has grown at a swift pace in the last two years.
I realize that many of these predictions are not positive for healthcare financial leaders. There is much to be wary of as you move into 2012. For CFOs doing financial forecasts, worst-case scenario planning might prepare your organization to better handle some of these topics. That alone may make you feel better.