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Florida Keys hospital seeks new management team

Miami Herald, July 30, 2010

With the Florida Keys struggling to provide quality healthcare, Fishermen's Hospital in Marathon hopes to find a new manager next month to revive its facility, which often has fewer than 10 patients. The facility piqued the interest of two of Miami-Dade's largest healthcare providers, but one -- leading candidate Baptist Health South Florida -- dropped out. That left a half-dozen bidders, including one that would create an affiliation with the University of Miami so that seriously ill patients at Fishermen's could be rushed by helicopter to the UM hospital. For more than 20 years, Fishermen's has been operated by the for-profit Health Management Associates, based in Naples. A fishermen's official said the hospital had a ``magnificent'' relationship with HMA until 10 years ago, when HMA changed its business model and ``things went downhill from there.'' Many Keys physicians have been upset with HMA's cost-cutting moves and have been less likely to send patients to HMA-run Fishermen's. HMA's contract expires next July.