MedCath Corp., Charlotte, N.C., announced joint ventures with two hospitals in North Carolina as part of a new business plan that focuses on developing partnerships with existing facilities rather than building new facilities in partnerships with physician-investors. The specialty hospital chain will build and manage cardiac catheterization laboratories at 269-bed Grace Hospital, Morganton, and 81-bed Caldwell Memorial Hospital, Lenoir. MedCath, which owns and operates 13 hospitals with physician-partners in nine states, embarked on its new growth strategy after the Medicare modernization act of 2003 imposed an 18-month moratorium, beginning last November, on new physician investment in specialty hospitals. John Casey, MedCath's president and chief executive officer, said in a news release: "While we push to continue improving operating performance and market share at our existing hospitals, we are also well-positioned to leverage our experience and core competencies through partnerships with physicians and other healthcare providers." -- by Michael Romano
MedCath eyes new partners: acute-care hospitals
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