Independent Provider's 'Strength' Strategy Keeps Options Open

Rene Letourneau, for HealthLeaders Media , March 3, 2014

Beeman believes the relationship will allow LG Health to provide expedited care to patients who require special services. "We have a pretty large enterprise here, but Penn is much larger. We have a lot of clinical capabilities, and we do a lot of research, but it's nowhere near the level of the university. Our providers are used to referring to Penn, and in the new world of population health, it's a win-win to have a trusted colleague you can work with. Penn fits that bill."

M&A Still Possible in the Future
Despite all these efforts, it may not be possible for LG Health to remain independent forever given all the changes that are taking hold in the healthcare industry, Beeman acknowledges. But shoring up the organization's finances through these internal and external strategies will put it in a position of strength if the time does come to consider M&A.

"We've always felt we had to maintain a strong cash position on the balance sheet, and we have done that. We want to keep our AA bond rating so we have access to capital when and if we need it," he says. "We're not naïve enough to think our independence can last forever, but we want to be assured that if we ever do decide to integrate with another system that we do so in a strong position rather than a weak position."

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