"In short you have Catholic Health Partners buying a share of the Summa Health, the other Akron system and Akron General needing capital and care management help," Baumgarten says. "Cleveland Clinic has wanted a presence in Summit County for a long time. University Hospital already is there and would probably do something with Akron General in the Clinic didn't get there first."
Although Akron General is a fairly large healthcare system, Stover says it had to be bigger in the Akron market.
"Northeast Ohio is heavily managed as far as managed care is concerned and we have a competitor in town (Summa Health) with their own insurance company," he says. "It's difficult for us to do population health without a partner that can have some influence on a payer."
"Not only that, but the market has completely changed. The majority of the competition that Cleveland Clinic looked at when they were talking about Cuyahoga County was University Hospital. University Hospital has made significant inroads to Summit County. They've bought 16 of our primary care physicians."