Schafer: Pressure to grow drives talks at Fairview

  • Article by: LEE SCHAFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 6, 2013 - 5:12 PM

Fairview Health Services interim CEO and board Chairman Chuck Mooty is sure to face tough questions at a hearing Sunday about why Fairview is exploring a merger with Sanford Health.

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markaxApr. 6, 1311:20 PM

Ridiculous. Fairview is already one of the largest employers in the state, and the "conventional wisdom" is that they're not big enough? This merger-mania has nothing to do with efficiency, and everything to do with the pointless empire building of unaccountable boards of directors, and multimillionaires with too much time and money on their hands.

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mn2niceApr. 6, 1311:37 PM

From all reports I've seen, Sanford would not be a plus for the Twin Cities market. He has almost said as much that they are into empire building, not providing world-class patient care. Just in the last 5 years Sanford has acquired MeritCare in Fargo and North Country Regional Hospital in Bemidji. I would much rather see the University take over Fairview than to be taken over by Sanford. The University of Minnesota Medical Center, and Fairview's other hospitals in the state would strengthen the University as a truly strong medical system with a nationally recognized medical school which could place medical students at several campuses around the state. The University of Minnesota Medical Center's status as the second best hospital in the state speaks for itself. I truly hope it stays under local ownership and management.

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mn55066Apr. 7, 1312:58 AM

Fairview's plans are driven by the expanding growth of Mayo outside the Rochester area, plus Mayo's plans to make Rochester THE destination city for health care in the US.

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texas_technomanApr. 7, 13 5:02 AM

Bigger is not necessarily better. Delivering excellent service is. I lived through 3 large mergers in my career, and after the dust cleared the result was a lot of people were out of a job, and the departing execs made a pile of money. And what's with all the "interim" exec titles? That should make you nervous.

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salee1693Apr. 7, 13 8:50 AM

Has bank consolidation improved customer service? How about airline consolidation? Are we enjoying air travel in over sold cattle wagons? Patient service will not improve with having mega health systems. Community-based, employed physician models encourage care collaboration (Mayo-like). Consumers (patients) need to own their medical history using technology that allows it to be mobile and accessible.

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swmnguyApr. 7, 13 9:51 AM

This story is yet another illustration, as if we needed more, of how the "growth at any cost" mentality is destroying America. The growth mania is a symptom brought on by the financialization of our economy. In a finite world, assuming infinite growth in markets, resources, energy and capital is a recipe for disaster. Before I went out on my own, every single company I ever worked for was single-mindedly obsessed with growth. In employee meetings I would ask, "Why? If we're making money, getting paid, serving our clients, and have enough left over to invest in improvements, what's the reason for growth?" Nobody ever gave me a good reason. And 7 of the 8 companies I'm thinking of are out of business today, because of complications of attempts to grow that killed the company. This Fairview story is an excellent example of why we need to get the profit motive out of medicine. I know they're "non-profits," but if they're bringing in $3 Billion and they're paying battalions of executives, the non-profit tag is a mere formality.

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audreylarsonApr. 8, 13 3:13 PM

Finally, a column/article that spells out the financial rationale for the nationwide fast- moving merger activity. And more head in the sand comments. It's happening folks, and no protectionist legislation or AG meddling is going to stop it. In a few years, there will be only a few systems in Minnesota, most likely Mayo and Sanford. Yes, it is scary. Would you prefer Fairview become insolvent in 4 years?

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