HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of healthcare market intelligence, reports that the entry of the for-profit hospital company Community Health Systems into the Spokane, Wash. hospital market could significantly alter the competitive landscape. Community Health Systems wants to acquire financially ailing Empire Health Services and its two area acute-care hospitals. According to the newly released Spokane Market Overview report, Empire's agreement with Community Health Systems could result in the two hospitals becoming more competitive with Providence Health & Services, the dominant player in the market.

"The fate of that deal rests with state regulators, and if approved, it stands to alter the competitive balance of the Spokane, Wash. health system sector," states Dave Raiford, HealthLeaders-InterStudy market analyst and author of the report. "Look for an expansion of services and a push for affiliations between health systems and physicians as this deal comes to fruition."

Providence has dominated the market in Spokane County in terms of patient discharges, bed capacity and earnings, while Empire has struggled to keep pace. However, Empire's agreement with Community Health Systems to sell Deaconess Medical Center and Valley Hospital and Medical Center could even the score. Community Health Systems' growth strategy revolves around aggressive physician recruiting, cost containment and banking on savings from economies of scale in purchasing, pharmacy management and contract negotiations with payers.

The acquisition deal calls for Community Health Systems to spend at least $40 million on routine capital expenditures within five years of acquiring the two hospitals and $60 million in capital improvements. The company's business strategy relies heavily on physician recruiting and developing emergency department capacity and service.

About the Spokane Market Overview

This year's Spokane Market Overview is a new report offered by HealthLeaders-InterStudy. In response to reader requests, and in recognition of the diverse and changing nature of this metropolitan statistical area's components, the new Spokane Market Overview report presents an in-depth analysis of the healthcare market in this growing Washington metropolis.

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:

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

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

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  For more information, contact:    Elizabeth Marshall   Decision Resources   781-296-2563 

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SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

CONTACT: Elizabeth Marshall of Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2563,, for HealthLeaders-InterStudy

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