Who are the potential suitors for Summa Health?
Baldwin Wallace University professor Tom Campanella provided a little insight on a few of the possible bidders:
UPMC: “I’ve heard for years about UPMC wanting to come into Ohio almost on the insurance side of it all,” he said of the Pittsburgh-based health system that has a network of hospitals and facilities and also a health-insurance arm. With the Cleveland Clinic showing that it can grow beyond state lines, it’s a possibility, he said. If there’s any seed of truth to the rumor of UPMC’s interest in Akron Children’s as a possible affiliate or partner, that could make Summa and Akron even more attractive, Campanella said. "The one thing you can say about health care is ‘You never say never.’"
University Hospitals: Campanella said he doesn’t know the financials of UH, but “geographically, UH having a [bigger] presence in Summit County would make some sense … they’re definitely a potential player.”
MetroHealth: The Cleveland-based health system, funded in part by Cuyahoga County tax dollars, could be a suitor, he said. "The question would be the capital part of it. If Summa is looking at this as a way of getting a large infusion of capital, it would be a challenge from the Metro standpoint.”
Cleveland Clinic: The Cleveland Clinic already acquired Summa's cross-town rival, Akron General, in recent years. “I personally think the Clinic could be a little bit of a challenge getting the appropriate federal approvals, but I’m not an anti-trust guy," he said.
Campanella said whoever Summa looks at, it needs to be open to all possibilities in any type of relationship in any form.
“There are potential relationships that may not be out there today or going into the future that would make a lot of business sense if you seriously evaluate it. If you have too many obstacles of these requirements of the players we want as a partner, you may be left at the dance without anyone to dance with or you may be in a situation where you are only dancing with one, maybe two players and your leverage is a lot less.”
Beacon Journal consumer columnist and medical reporter Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or email@example.com. Follow her @blinfisherABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/BettyLinFisherABJ and see all her stories at www.ohio.com/betty.