Muncie area ambivalent about Clarian project

The expected announcement that Indianapolis-based Clarian Health Partners will build a hospital near Muncie is raising anticipation about improved health care services as well as fears that the competition could hurt local hospitals, according to The Star-Press.

Last week, the president of the town council of nearby Yorktown said Clarian plans to develop a 100-acre site west of Muncie. The $70 million project would create 170 jobs, a Delaware County official said.

Clarian hasn’t confirmed the official’s statements.

Kelly Stanley, CEO of Muncie-based Cardinal Health System, told the newspaper that the community should be happy about the new jobs.

Yet Stanley also probably worries that Clarian will siphon off elective surgeries and other profitable services and leave less-lucrative basic care, such as emergency services, to Cardinal and its flagship hospital, Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, the newspaper said.

Ben Park, CEO of American Health Network, said a Clarian facility also raises the prospect of duplicated services, which ultimately inflates the cost of health care in places like the north side of Indianapolis, where several hospitals are vying for market share.

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