Hospital end-game: get big

December 1, 2008
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Hardly a month goes by without more news about hospital consolidations and partnerships.

Clarian Health, St. Vincent Health and Community Hospitals â?? all behemoths by Indiana standards, and all with head offices in Indianapolis â?? are scooping up local institutions in places ranging from Muncie to Bloomington.

Small hospitals want the capital and medical know-how of the large hospitals, and large hospitals want referrals from the small hospitals to keep cash flowing for their expensive equipment and doctors.

Where do you see this ending? Is it inevitable, like consolidation of the auto industry and the banks decades ago?

Ultimately, will just one or two networks control the state? How do you feel about that?
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  • Yes, one or two giant corporations will own every hospital, and they will be headquartered in Ohio or New York. I don't know if that will make hospital care better or worse than having local ownership.
  • Don't overlook Parkview Health in NE Indiana, a large system by any means, as well as the Lutheran Network in NE Indiana. Lutheran is a for-profit system, owned by Community Health Systems out of Tennessee. And the Sisters of St.Francis already have a large system across the state, and into Illinois.

    The more concern that I have is in that Anthem's presence in Indiana is huge. They are making big bucks off the backs of hard working Hoosiers, paying hospitals little as they wield their market presence in contract negotiations.

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