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MetroHealth seeks strategic partnership after 'extraordinary year'

Cleveland-based MetroHealth will seek out a third-party adviser to assist in the search for a strategic partner during the course of the next year, according to Crain's Cleveland Business.

Akram Boutros, MD, president and CEO of MetroHealth, told Crain's 2017 proved to be an "extraordinary year" for the health system.

"From our point of view, MetroHealth is at the best position it has been in decades," Dr. Boutros told Crain's. "That creates a position of strength, which — coupled with enormous changes and uncertainty in government payers and significant consolidation within Northeast Ohio and the U.S. market — makes it the right time for us to seek relationships with either a national or regional partner."

MetroHealth's board of trustees approved a resolution in December allowing the health system to hire an adviser to help discover possible candidates for a strategic partnership.

The resolution explicitly prohibits the health system from engaging in a merger, selling any of its assets, or engaging in an affiliation or joint venture that would change control of the system, the report states. Officials also cannot sell a minority stake in the health system.

Dr. Boutros said MetroHealth will aim to hire an adviser within the first quarter of 2018, put out a request for proposals during the second quarter and finalize a partner by the end of 2018, according to the report.

In terms of eligible partnership candidates, Dr. Boutros said the health system is open to proposals from hospitals and health systems nationwide, including faith-based organizations, so long as the partnership would allow the hospital to remain a public entity.

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