Penn State Health CEO: "actively pursuing" collaborations, mergers
Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | 11.17.16
Dr. Craig Hillemeier is CEO of Penn State Health. Photo courtesy of Penn State Health.
(Hershey) -- The CEO of Penn State Health says it's actively pursuing collaborations and possibly even mergers with other health systems, after a federal appeals court blocked its proposed merger with PinnacleHealth.
The comments are the first public ones from Dr. Craig Hillemeier since the court decision in late September.
Dr. Hillemeier called the ruling a disappointing one.
But, he says, the health system is now talking with anyone and everyone to find possible collaborators.
"I think we have lots of options out there, lots of opportunities and we're having lots of discussions, but I don't think it helps any of those discussions to be very specific about who we're talking with, about what," says Hillemeier.
In recent years in the midstate, WellSpan Health has added Good Samaritan Hospital in Lebanon County to its network, Holy Spirit Hospital in Cumberland County has affiliated with Geisinger Health, and Lancaster General Health has linked to Penn Medicine.
Hillemeier says he looks around and sees that the industry has changed drastically.
"If we go back to 10 years ago, in terms of our business model as a standalone Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, is it important for us to now be a health system that much more actively looks at how to form alliances and collaborations here? Absolutely, that is the case," says Hillemeier.
Dr. Hillemeier says he thought a merger with PinnacleHealth was the best option when it was first proposed in 2014 and had hoped the FTC would agree with him.
He says Penn State Health is also considering adding beds at its current location - something that it mentioned in court proceedings - but said those plans are less firm at this point.
Hillemeier says other collaborations with Pinnacle are among those options, even though an outright merger was blocked by the federal appeals court.
The ruling argued that a merger between Pinnacle and Penn State Health would lead to less competition and higher prices.
Published in Healthcare Transformation