MetroHealth Moves To Take Over HealthSpan's Cleveland Contracts

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Sarah Jane Tribble

When HealthSpan announced last month that it would no longer operate its primary care and specialty offices in Northeast Ohio, the news raised questions as to what would happen to the 140 doctors, their staffs and their patients. 

Now, answers are beginning to emerge. 

MetroHealth System says it has negotiated to take over the contracts of 40 primary care doctors at HealthSpans' Cleveland Heights, Parma, Bedford and Rocky River locations. An additional 25 specialty providers are also expected to join in the MetroHealth System in the coming months. 

MetroHealth is in negotiations to take over those Northeast Ohio doctor office locations as well. And MetroHealth's CEO Dr. Akram Boutros says the hospital system will also be accepting HealthSpan insurance. That means most HealthSpan patients will be able to keep seeing their doctors at the same location. 

"Our entire goal was to reduce the impact on the patients who have been long committed to this physician group," Boutros says. 

This is a good deal for the county hospital - the doctors bring with them 40,000 privately insured patients into the MetroHealth System. 

Boutros says there are some doctors retiring or joining competing health systems. And it's unclear what will happen to the nurses, technicians and other support staff. MetroHealth has not committed to taking over their contracts. 

A spokesman with HealthSpan said he did not know how many people may lose their jobs, but the company is holding job fairs. 

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