Cleveland-based Fairview Health System has agreed to negotiate a merger with Cleveland Clinic.
Both the clinic and its rival, Cleveland-based University Hospitals Health System, had sought Fairview, which has a strong presence on Cleveland's west side. That includes two hospitals in the city-482-bed Fairview General Hospital and 221-bed Lutheran Medical Center-as well as eight physician offices, a patient testing center, a rehabilitation center and a wellness center in Cleveland and its western suburbs.
Fairview set a completion date for the negotiations of Jan. 1, 1997.
University Hospitals officials, in a memo to their board of directors, expressed disappointment over the decision and said they would proceed with alternative means of expanding their system's presence on Cleveland's west side.
University Hospitals has 26 outpatient locations to the west, mainly in the suburbs, but no acute-care facility. Those locations include an ambulatory surgery center, specialty and diagnostic services and several primary-care practices.
Cleveland Clinic was pleased with Fairview's decision. "They are one of the finest hospital systems in Greater Cleveland and they have a superb medical staff," said Floyd D. Loop, M.D., chairman of the clinic's board of governors. "The merger between Fairview Health System and the Cleveland Clinic will establish a new healthcare delivery system on the west side."
Cleveland Clinic consists of a 650-physician group practice. It operates a 945-bed acute-care facility, and its west Cleveland presence consists of one family health center in the suburb of Westlake, Ohio.
Fairview said it needs to merge with a larger, regionally integrated system to remain viable in the future.
The merger would build on existing cooperative relationships that Fairview and the clinic developed over the past decade, including Cleveland Health Network, a 2-year-old contracting coalition of hospitals from throughout Northeast Ohio. Also, the clinic collaborates with Fairview in offering radiation oncology services at Fairview's Moll Center for Cancer Care and in the areas of physician education and certain clinical specialties.
For the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 1995, Fairview reported net income of $11.2 million on revenues of $217 million. Its total assets were $285 million.
Cleveland Clinic reported net income of $39.2 million on revenues of $905.7 million for its Ohio operations. Its total assets, including assets of its Florida location, were $1.38 billion. Assets for Ohio only were not available.