HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that the healthcare market in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida area is facing multiple challenges including rising unemployment rates resulting in an increased uninsured population. According to the new Cape Coral-Fort Myers Market Overview, this rising uninsured population combined with reimbursement cuts, a lack of quick-care clinics and a physician shortage have placed a growing burden on the area's largest health system, Lee Memorial Health System, which is responsible for nearly 95 percent of acute-care beds in the area.

"Lee Memorial Health System is the main player in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers market. With reimbursement cuts and a growing uninsured population, the system is faced with significant financial challenges," said Chris Clancy, analyst with HealthLeaders-InterStudy and author of the report. "As a public hospital that receives no government financial assistance, the system is taking on significant risk."

According to the report, as of July 2008, health system administrators have cut about $27 million from the system's annual budget, yet have maintained services and jobs.

There may be some relief for the area with the entry of Promise Healthcare, which plans to open a 60-bed, long-term acute-care hospital in Fort Myers in late 2008, with 5 percent of beds for the uninsured.

A limited presence of convenience health clinics is also increasing the burden on Lee Memorial Health System. While the health system does run two such clinics of its own, Florida's three biggest convenience clinics -- CVS's MinuteClinic, Take Care Health Systems and The Little Clinic -- are not present in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area.

Florida's physician shortage is also a concern for the Cape Coral-Fort Myers market. According to a survey released in October 2007, 13 percent of physicians in Florida plan to leave or reduce their practice within the next five years. State officials are addressing the shortage with the opening of the new University of Central Florida College of Medicine, which will open in the fall of 2009.

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.   Cape Coral/Fort Myers, Fla.   Charleston, S.C.   Colorado Springs, Colo.   Columbia, S.C.   Lexington, Ky.   Madison, Wis.   Portland, Maine   Southern New Jersey   Spokane, Wash.   Springfield, Mass.   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 www.HealthLeaders-InterStudy.com.

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 www.DecisionResourcesInc.com.

  All company, brand or product names contained in this document may be      trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.    For more information, contact:    Lisa Osgood                          Elizabeth Marshall   HealthLeaders-InterStudy             Decision Resources, Inc.   781-296-2606                         781-296-2563   losgood@hl-isy.com                   emarshall@dresources.com 

First Call Analyst:
FCMN Contact:

SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

CONTACT: Lisa Osgood of HealthLeaders-InterStudy, +1-781-296-2606,
losgood@hl-isy.com; or Elizabeth Marshall of Decision Resources, Inc.,
+1-781-296-2563, emarshall@dresources.com

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