Business Roundup: Summa Health Finds a Partner

John Commins, February 25, 2013

Cincinnati-based Catholic Health Partners and Akron-based Summa Health System have signed a letter of intent to create a strategic partnership, the two Ohio health systems announced.

Summa announced in July that it was looking for a like-minded, larger non-profit partner to enhance its service lines and other strategic initiatives and to strengthen its financial position. Under such a partnership, Summa would give its new partner a minority stake in the organization but Summa would retain majority ownership and local control. Final negotiations to secure the partnership that are expected to be completed by this summer.

"When we began this process, we were very clear that we would only enter into an agreement with a non-profit organization that shared our mission, vision and values," Tom Strauss, Summa president/CEO, said in prepared remarks. "While there still is a great deal of work to be done during the next several months to finalize a partnership, I believe that CHP shares our view that the way healthcare is delivered in our nation must change. At Summa, we are well positioned for future success, but together with CHP, I believe that we can truly be transformational."

Summa is in the midst of a three-year strategic planning process in anticipation of the myriad changes and challenges that healthcare is undergoing with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, payment reforms, and other sweeping challenges.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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