Last Wednesday, the
Summa leaders said nothing was off the table, including a merger, partnership or "full integration" with fellow
But Summa, which includes hospitals
Summa interim President and CEO Dr.
Deveny said the right partner has to be a teaching hospital "that is comfortable with population health and a health plan ... If we want them to enhance services, they have to have the ability to bring other providers where there are gaps."
Summa also is looking for a partner with strong finances, he said.
Summa's minority partner,
However, Deveny said if Summa doesn't find a good new partner, there are five years left on the Mercy agreement and Summa is financially healthy enough to wait it out.
SummaCare is one of the strongest things
The health insurer has 71,000 members throughout
Overall, Summa is an attractive potential partner, said both Campanella and
"I think they are fundamentally a very strong organization," said Silvers, a former SummaCare board member who served as president and chief executive of
"They ran into a few bumps in the last few years and that happens to a lot of organizations," he said, referring to a crisis after an abrupt switchover of its longtime emergency room physician group on
"There are some suitors that it may be an issue and for others, it's like, 'Hey, that happened' ... I don't think that would be a deal-breaker in any scenario," said Campanella.
Transparency and trust
Deveny and Board Chair
It was imperative and smart for Summa leaders to be as transparent as possible given the mistrust that developed after last year's struggles, said Campanella.
Had Summa done all of the work behind the scenes and word got out, "it would have done a lot of damage," he said.
Quiet on plans
Most of the potential suitors being named among those in the industry and community are staying mum on their plans.
And in a telephone interview Friday,
"We have had zero conversation with our colleagues at UPMC. I know the people over there. We have had no conversations with UMPC and whether Summa is, I don't know," he said.
Considine said he wishes Summa the best in its search and knows Deveny and the board "are doing what they need to be doing relative to looking at options and stabilize what was a rocky ship."
But Considine said Children's, which will remain independently owned, is not in the mix for any multiparty affiliations including Summa.
Children's runs the neonatal units at
Considine said he hopes that Summa finds a way to maintain local control.
"I have seen what's happened to other organizations that go into relationships where you lose that local corporate citizenship and the hat that you wear," he said. "Personally, I really believe they can remain independent and keep that local governance and keep that local management through alliances, partnerships. There are organizations out there that they can partner with that aren't organizations that need control.
"It won't be my call. It's their call. Children's wants to be part of the solutions for them ... We respect their decision process," he said.
Asked whether he is concerned about a potential suitor in University Hospitals and its Rainbow Babies and
"There's not an organization that's been making an investment in pediatrics that we've made. There's nothing that Summa could get in pediatrics that they can't get from Akron Children's regardless of what partner they bring to the table," he said.
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