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Vertical integration in the Australian community care setting: can it work? A theoretical review of current literature


Young, S and Swarts, K and Prior, SJ and Doherty, D and Campbell, SJ, Vertical integration in the Australian community care setting: can it work? A theoretical review of current literature, International Journal of Health Planning and Management, 37, (3) pp. 1299-1310. ISSN 0749-6753 (2022) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1002/hpm.3412


Vertical integration (VI) is considered a strategic management plan whereby an organisation has ownership of its supply chain. It is utilised as a method for managing the economic needs and approaches of an organisation and ensuring that a product is readily available for use. From a healthcare perspective, this pertains to the coordination of services or levels of care and allows for adaptation to changing circumstances. This study reviews existing literature on VI in a healthcare setting to assess feasibility and effectiveness of this proposed solution. A theoretical literature review was performed utilising conceptual categorisation to understand how VI may benefit community care organisations, using the needs of a local organisation as an example. Seventeen articles were included from a range of databases and grey literature with findings categorised according to two research questions. The findings suggest that for VI to be effective and efficient it is important to consider the following themes: market failure, barriers to entry, productive capabilities and specific healthcare issues. In conclusion, from a management and economic perspective, when markets are not functioning efficiently and are in disequilibrium, VI may provide an appropriate avenue to address these problems, in particular for community care organisations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:health systems, community care, health management, healthcare strategy, integrated care, service integration
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Aged health care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Young, S (Dr Sarah Young)
UTAS Author:Swarts, K (Dr Kevin Swarts)
UTAS Author:Prior, SJ (Dr Sarah Prior)
UTAS Author:Campbell, SJ (Professor Steven Campbell)
ID Code:148797
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Nursing
Deposited On:2022-02-10
Last Modified:2022-11-23

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