Franklin, TN-based CHS is one of the nation's largest for-profit hospital companies. It leases or operates 135 hospitals in 29 states, with an aggregate of nearly 20,000 beds.
"It definitely broadens the Cleveland Clinic's reach nationally, which we haven't had before," Sheil says. "But at this point we aren't talking about putting our name on their hospitals whatsoever. It's trying to figure out how can we best work together to really drive quality in the hospitals and drive down the cost. That is what we are expected to do given healthcare reform and how we have to change the way healthcare is delivered going forward."
Adam Powell, a healthcare economist and president of Payer + Provider Syndicate, a Boston-based consulting firm, says the strategic alliance provides clear benefits to both systems.
"Cleveland Clinic maintains state-of-the-art facilities that are constrained to a few geographic areas, while Community Health Systems runs a large, multi-state network of general acute care hospitals in mid-size markets. The alliance provides Community Health Systems with access to both the processes and brand of Cleveland Clinic, while providing Cleveland Clinic with access to a wider referral base," Powell said in an email exchange.