Hospitals Announce Agreement to Improve Critical Health-care Access and Quality

Posted 3 months ago

By Stan Unruh

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 7.10.22 AMHeartland Health logoHeartland Health Media Release

Integration brings further quality health-care access to rural areas.

Heartland Health and Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph, Mo., alongside Northwest Medical Center in Albany, Mo., today announced an operational agreement of partnership.

“Our systems have a long history of working side-by-side in providing health care in our region,” says Mark Laney, MD, President and CEO, Heartland Health and Mosaic Life Care. “This further agreement is a continuation of that integrative partnership and will increase efficiencies to control health-care costs, maintain high quality of care, as well as continue to provide the best experience possible to those we serve.

As the health-care industry moves away from a fee-for-service delivery model and more toward a population health model, Critical Access Hospitals such as Northwest Medical Center, face a particularly unique set of challenges due to their size.

“As the Affordable Care Act progresses, rural health-care facilities must seek out new and innovative answers as demands increase and reimbursements decline, says Jon Doolittle, CEO, Northwest Medical Center. “We as innovative partners are bringing together our strengths to ensure quality healthcare access and economic vitality in this area for future generations and create a model that rural areas across the country will seek to emulate.”

Nationally, independent community hospitals across the country are increasingly entering into integrative agreements.

“Hospitals throughout the state are focused on serving and strengthening their communities in times of significant change in health care,” says Herb Kuhn, president and CEO of the Missouri Hospital Association. “Each hospital will have a different set of circumstances and community-specific challenges and opportunities. Cooperation can build on a hospital’s strengths and create new capacity with the hospitals maintaining their respective community-owned status. Where this is happening, both the hospitals and communities can benefit.”