LifePoint Development Chief Doubles Down on Partnerships

Philip Betbeze, March 16, 2017

The success of a groundbreaking business partnership with Duke University Health System has led to another in Kentucky, and a founding employee who recently assumed the role of CDO expects more deals to come.

Jeff Seraphine
Jeff Seraphine

The joint venture between Duke University Health System and LifePoint Health started life as a bit of an odd duck. It combined the operational skills of a for-profit hospital company with the clinical skill and reputation of a top-shelf academic medical center.

Some imitators followed their lead, with mixed results. But Duke-LifePoint has thrived, with 10 hospitals under management, and some are far from the eastern South, where Duke's brand is most well-known.

Indeed, the creation the two organizations pioneered in 2011 may represent the acute care business model of the future, one that leverages the quality regimes of well-respected nonprofit health systems like Duke, combined with the operating expertise of a for-profit hospital operator like LifePoint.

The model will proliferate if Jeff Seraphine, LifePoint's chief development officer, has his way.

Seraphine was named to the post in February after serving 18 years at the company, which he joined as a founding employee. HealthLeaders spoke with him recently to discuss the new partnerships that have become possible, how the strategy differentiates the company, and how value-based principles and reimbursement are affecting acute healthcare. Following is a lightly edited transcript.

HealthLeaders: What are you most looking forward to in your new role?

Seraphine: I've been with LifePoint since 1999, starting as CEO of one of our first 20 hospitals. For the last six years I've served as a division and group leader, primarily with newly acquired hospitals, evaluating acquisition targets, and also with the Duke-LifePoint partnership.

We paused [acquisitions] last year as we absorbed a heavy acquisition load from 2015 and early 2016, so I'm excited to focus on building a robust pipeline so we can position ourselves as buyer of choice based on our ability to be a good partner and successfully drive quality.

Philip Betbeze

Philip Betbeze is the senior leadership editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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