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Orlando Health Bucks Trend, Stays Independent

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 2, 2014

The lengthy process of vetting potential partners allowed the not-for-profit system to reassess its strengths and weaknesses while it improved its balance sheets.


Morgan


Dianna Morgan
Orlando Health Board Chairwoman

When Orlando Health announced last fall that it would court partners for a merger or affiliation, the six-hospital health system was following a well-read script used by scores of hospitals and health systems across the country.

So at first glance it came as a surprise late last month when Orlando Health announced that it would not pursue an affiliation with any of the eight or more health systems it had met with confidentially over the past eight months.

When you look a little deeper, however, the decision to go it alone seems well grounded.

Orlando Health Board Chairwoman Dianna Morgan says the long courting process allowed the not-for-profit system to reassess its strengths and weaknesses while it improved its balance sheets. In the end, she said the board at the health system decided they were strong enough to remain independent, at least for now.

"Through the process we just gained confidence about who we were as a system and our ability to compete without giving up independence or control," Morgan says. "We also left the board room agreeing that this is the right decision today, but knowing that this is a dynamic healthcare environment we are in and we need to always stay open to other options."

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