NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 6 HealthLeaders-InterStudy, aleading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that thehealthcare market in the Columbia, S.C. region is largely defined by afragmented physician market as well as highly competitive health systems.According to the new Columbia Market Overview, the physician segment ischaracterized by small groups with little interest in consolidation, which hasbrought challenges to physician contract negotiations as the market isdominated by a small group of insurers.
Physicians in the Columbia market, however, benefit from the highlycompetitive health system segment. Lexington Medical Center, Palmetto Healthand Sisters of Charity Providence Hospitals are the dominant players in theregion. As regulatory battles between these organizations continue to slow thedevelopment of new services and facilities, physician group affiliations andacquisitions will provide each health system opportunities for growth.
"The rivalry has created an environment in Columbia, S.C., wherebyexpansion plans often include significant legal services activity because ofstaunch opposition by the area health systems," said Dave Raiford, marketanalyst with HealthLeaders-InterStudy. "A case in point is the construction ofa new $99 million Palmetto hospital in Irmo that will likely be delayed asLexington and an out-of-market hospital contest Palmetto's plans. In place ofphysical expansion efforts, look for these local hospitals to turn moreattention to developing physician networks to sustain their revenue andreferral bases."
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