Over past decades Activity Based Funding has been an attractive tool for hospital funding and governance, but there has been growing frustration especially with its unintended effects. There are numerous examples of alternative models, but there is little in-depth knowledge about how these models came about. The aim of our study was to analyse how the discourse of Activity Based Funding was successfully challenged. This contributes insights into how international/national debates are translated into concrete alternative models through specific discursive mechanisms. The analysis used a discursive policy approach and was based on a case study from Denmark ('New Governance'). The data consisted of project and policy documents as well as qualitative interviews with regional and national experts. The analysis identified four discursive mechanisms: the problem definitions underlying ‘New Governance' were clear and simple; the underlying assumptions both accepted and challenged the premises of Activity Based Funding; the alternative of ‘New Governance' was defined in rather broad terms; and it was produced, disseminated and defended as part of interweaving processes regionally but also nationally. Our study showed that new models of hospital funding and governance need to be carefully engineered and that they draw on a mix of governance logics. Future research needs to study more examples from a broad range of institutional contexts and points in time.