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Population Growth in Greenville Spurs Hospital Competition

Growing Demand Challenges Greenville’s Safety Net Providers

News Release
Nov. 11, 2005

Alwyn Cassil (202) 264-3484 or

WASHINGTON, DC—The pattern of population growth in the Greenville, S.C., area has led to heightened competition for profitable services among the market’s three largest hospital systems, according to a new Community Report released today by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC).

The hospital systems—Greenville Hospital System, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System and Spartanburg Regional Health System—are aggressively expanding around the town of Greer, on the border of Greenville and Spartanburg counties, because of its growing population of middle-class, insured residents.

"The hospitals are focusing their expansion efforts on such profitable services as cardiac care, oncology, orthopedics and obstetrics," said Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., president of HSC, a nonpartisan policy research organization funded principally by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Other key findings of the report, Growth Fuels Hospital Competition and Challenges Greenville Safety Net, which is available online here, include:

  • BlueCross BlueShield remains the dominant health insurer, but national carrier UnitedHealthcare has made recent inroads at the expense of several smaller plans.
  • Small employers have begun to purchase health savings account products in considerable numbers, while larger employers have taken more modest steps to contain health insurance costs.
  • Safety net providers have seen significant increases in demand for care from the uninsured, leading to some expansions in service capacity.

Greenville is one of 12 communities across the country tracked intensively by HSC researchers through site visits. The new report is based on a May 2005 site visit and interviews with more than 50 Greenville health care leaders, representing health plans, employers, hospitals, physicians and policy makers.

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The Center for Studying Health System Change is a nonpartisan policy research organization committed to providing objective and timely research on the nation’s changing health system to help inform policy makers and contribute to better health care policy. HSC, based in Washington, D.C., is funded principally by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is affiliated with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.



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The Center for Studying Health System Change Ceased operation on Dec. 31, 2013.