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As we move into 2016, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will continue to impact the healthcare industry in a variety of ways which executives will need to be prepared to address.Here are some of the key items for healthcare executives to-do lists as we move into a new year based on our work in the healthcare industry.More healthcare providers of all sorts and sizes are striving to deliver higher quality care in the most efficient way possible.These drivers are fueling the development of truly integrated delivery systems while sparking a range of challenges to organizational structures and strategy, as well as to boards, leadership teams and workforces.Look for patients to do more price shopping when it comes to medical care.According to the Wall Street Journal, there were 95 hospital mergers and acquisitions last year.Those add to the less headline centric, but even more pervasive private practice acquisitions that are happening every day in the health delivery space.

Fast-growing hospital systems are transforming into health systems at the same time that traditional payment and care models are undergoing fundamental overhauls.

The wave of hospital merger and acquisition activity over the past several years has continued through 2015 due to pressure on traditional hospital reimbursement, as well as concerns over navigating a post-Affordable Care Act (ACA) health care landscape focused on "" reimbursement, increased provider collaboration, quality incentives and population health management.

With the increase in hospital mergers and acquisitions, hospitals are operating in a transactional environment that is being heavily scrutinized by regulatory authorities for antitrust concerns and potential fraud and abuse violations.

While these increases in patient traffic will likely boost revenues and lower uncompensated care costs for hospitals, it will also stretch the capacity of some hospitals to their limits.

The impact on specific hospitals will also vary depending on whether the hospitals are in states that expanded Medicaid coverage through the ACA.

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