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For PACC Health Plans president Martin Preizler, the problem he faced when he joined the Portland-area insurer in 1994 was simple.
Either he could float the cash for PACC to upgrade its information system and expand the insurer's product line, or the health plan founded in 1938 by a group of Clackamas County, Ore., physicians would be drowned out by bigger, better-financed competitors.
It was "kind of a make-or-buy kind of decision," explains Preizler. Since it would take too long for PACC to amass the money it would need, nearly two years ago PACC put itself on the auction block. It found a suitor, but the deal fell through this summer. However, PACC still is looking for the right merger.
Welcome to the murky realm …