MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio-Meridia Health System, with four community hospitals on Cleveland's East Side, is entertaining six proposals for mergers or affiliations. A board meeting has been scheduled for July 9 to decide whether to accept one of the offers or remain independent. Among the potential suitors are three for-profit chains: Nashville, Tenn.-based Columbia/
HCA Healthcare Corp.; Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Tenet Healthcare Corp.; and Wayne, Pa.-based Primary Health Systems. Of those, only Tenet has no presence in the Cleveland market. Two Cleveland-based systems, Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals Health System, also submitted proposals. Also under consideration is a joint venture with Southwest Community Health System and Hospital in Middleburg Heights and Fairview Health System in Cleveland. Meridia entered a joint venture to develop managed-care products with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Ohio in 1994, but in March the Blues announced it would sell most of its assets to Columbia, throwing in doubt the future of Meridia's involvement.
LINCOLNWOOD, Ill.-Ten privately owned long-term-care facilities have created an alliance named CarePath Health Network. The group's goal is to land managed-care contracts as well as agreements with health systems in the metropolitan Chicago area, said Fred Benjamin, the alliance's president and chief executive officer. Facilities within the alliance provide skilled-nursing care, as well as subacute and specialty services. Benjamin said the group already has signed contracts with managed-care organizations in the area but declined to name them. CarePath also has had "conversations with several large hospital systems in town," he said. The alliance's facilities are located within 2.5 miles of every hospital in Chicago.