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CHP Common Questions and Answers

CHP right rail 

Q.     What is being announced?

A.     The Summa Health System Board of Directors approved a partnership agreement with Cincinnati-based Catholic Health Partners (CHP). The decision comes following Summa’s announcement in July, 2012 that it would seek a like-minded, larger non-profit partner to enhance its strategic initiatives and strengthen its financial position in exchange for a minority interest in the organization in which Summa maintains majority ownership as well as local governance of the organization.

Q.     What is meant by minority interest?

A.      Summa continues to enjoy majority ownership and governance just as it does today. At the same time, Summa gains the strength of a partner that helps with economies of scale and operational improvements to benefit patient care.

Q.     Why did Summa Health System look for a strategic partner?

A.      Summa’s board and leadership teams regularly examine ways to improve the organization – including establishing strategic partnerships with other healthcare organizations. This is an extension of Summa’s strategic planning process which has multiple initiatives in place to prepare for the new era in healthcare.

Q.     Was the decision ultimately about finances?

A.      No. This process was about finding the right partner who shares Summa’s vision to grow and strengthen the organization at all levels so Summa can continue its legacy and commitment of providing exceptional, affordable medical care in the greater Akron area and in the broader communities it serves.

Q.     Is this partnership reflective of a one-time, $250 million investment?

A.     Yes.

Q.    How long will CHP participate as a minority investor in Summa Health System?

A.     The current agreement calls for a 10-year commitment; however, it is the hope of both organizations that the relationship continues past the established time commitment.

Q.     How does the recent announcement between CHP and Kaiser relate to the partnership between Summa and CHP?

A.     Summa was not involved in discussions with CHP - or Kaiser - regarding the agreement in any way.

Q.     Why are so many hospitals and health systems exploring partnerships?

A.      Partnerships are much more common because of external pressures such as healthcare reform, declining reimbursements and an increasingly competitive environment. This makes it more difficult for health systems to thrive long-term. In 2011 and 2012, more than 100 new partnerships were announced. This is not unlike partnerships that are formed in the for-profit environment.

Q.     Does the partnership with CHP mean Summa becomes a Catholic, faith-based health system?

A.      No, our partnership with CHP does not mean Summa becomes a Catholic, faith-based health system.

Q.     Will Summa change its end-of-life care model because of CHP?

A.      No. Summa continues to address end-of-life care the same way it always has. The patient, and/or the patient’s family’s wishes are honored. No patient is forced to accept care he/she does not want. The goal is to minimize suffering whenever possible and keep patients and their families informed and in charge of the care the patient receives.

Q.     Will Summa change the care provided for women’s health services.

A.      No. Summa will not change the care it provides to women’s health services. The services offered will remain the same.