HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that the healthcare market in the Columbia, S.C. region is largely defined by a fragmented physician market as well as highly competitive health systems. According to the new Columbia Market Overview, the physician segment is characterized by small groups with little interest in consolidation, which has brought challenges to physician contract negotiations as the market is dominated by a small group of insurers.

Physicians in the Columbia market, however, benefit from the highly competitive health system segment. Lexington Medical Center, Palmetto Health and Sisters of Charity Providence Hospitals are the dominant players in the region. As regulatory battles between these organizations continue to slow the development of new services and facilities, physician group affiliations and acquisitions will provide each health system opportunities for growth.

"The rivalry has created an environment in Columbia, S.C., whereby expansion plans often include significant legal services activity because of staunch opposition by the area health systems," said Dave Raiford, market analyst with HealthLeaders-InterStudy. "A case in point is the construction of a new $99 million Palmetto hospital in Irmo that will likely be delayed as Lexington and an out-of-market hospital contest Palmetto's plans. In place of physical expansion efforts, look for these local hospitals to turn more attention to developing physician networks to sustain their revenue and referral bases."

About Market Overviews

Market Overviews provide a detailed analysis of local healthcare markets, allowing healthcare businesses to plan their local strategies. In addition to the 75 metropolitan statistical areas covered in our individual market reports, HealthLeaders-InterStudy will be producing the following NEW Market Overview reports in 2008:

  Baton Rouge, La.                   Madison, Wis.   Cape Coral/Fort Myers, Fla.        Portland, Maine   Charleston, S.C.                   Southern New Jersey   Colorado Springs, Colo.            Spokane, Wash.   Columbia, S.C.                     Springfield, Mass.   Lexington, Ky.                     Wilmington, Del.     About HealthLeaders-InterStudy 

HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a Decision Resources, Inc. company, is the authoritative source for managed care data, analysis and news. For more information, please visit .

About Decision Resources, Inc.

Decision Resources, Inc. is a cohesive portfolio of companies that offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on important sectors of the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Please visit Decision Resources, Inc. at .

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  For more information, contact:    Lisa Osgood                           Elizabeth Marshall   HealthLeaders-InterStudy              Decision Resources, Inc.   781-296-2606                          781-296-2563           

First Call Analyst:
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SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

CONTACT: Lisa Osgood of HealthLeaders-InterStudy, +1-781-296-2606,; or Elizabeth Marshall of Decision Resources, Inc.,

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