Parma, Southwest Hospitals Aim to Survive With New Partnership

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Unlike most of its community-hospital brethren, Parma Community General and Southwest General hospitals have so far avoided being gobbled up by the ravenous maw of University Hospitals and Cleveland Clinic. But now they are feeling the pinch — and so might area doctors who aren’t already part of the corporate machine.

In an effort to survive as the only independently run hospitals in the county, Southwest and Parma are teaming up with EMH Elyria Healthcare to form a for-profit company designed to save them money — and perhaps even generate some.

“By working together, we expect to be in a stronger position to better navigate the uncertain waters of health-care reform so that we may continue to provide excellent health care and meet our mission in our communities,” Parma CEO Terry Deis said before a reporter nodded off.

The three hospitals will still be owned and operated separately, but the collaboration will provide joint purchasing power and allow them to focus on what a press release calls “physician integration.”

And what might that be? It’s CEO speak for the process of consolidating doctors under the corporate umbrella, thus putting the squeeze on remaining docs who operate independently. In other words: Time for Southwest and Parma to play the big boys’ game. — Maude Campbell

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