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Dwindling number of independent hospitals in Greater Cleveland struggle to survive

Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 5, 2008

Independent community hospitals, which sprang up as religious, ethnic and charitable institutions, were once a hallmark of Greater Cleveland. Now, there are only a handful left as Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals have expanded their reach. Once-independent hospitals in more than a dozen communities are now part of the two systems, and hospital mergers and expansions like these have been happening across the country for more than a decade. They're fueled by the strength numbers give a system when negotiating contracts with health insurers or purchasing from suppliers. And urban hospitals look at the suburban partners with more privately insured patients as a feeder system to the main hospital.