Wisconsin-based well being programs talk about doable merger | Entrance Web page


Two Wisconsin-based well being programs with lengthy histories are discussing how they may come collectively to collectively improve the extent of care throughout Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota and northeast Iowa.

Officers from Marshfield Clinic Well being System and Gundersen Well being System, saying a doable merger Tuesday, will spend the approaching months understanding the small print of a possible union that would create a well being system with greater than 18,000 staff; over 100 clinics, together with pressing care areas, pharmacies, medical clinics and dental and eye facilities; and 13 hospitals, one in all which opened in Eau Claire in July.

The announcement comes simply six days after Marshfield Clinic Well being System reported it had accomplished its affiliation with Beaver Dam Group Hospitals, increasing its footprint throughout Wisconsin much more.

“When you concentrate on two rural well being care organizations coming collectively, the alternatives are boundless,” Dr. Susan Turney, chief govt officer of Marshfield Clinic Well being System, mentioned Tuesday in Eau Claire.

“After all, there may be numerous work that should occur earlier than any of that may (occur).”

Throughout a phone question-and-answer session with reporters Tuesday, Dr. Scott Rathgaber, La Crosse-based Gundersen Well being System’s CEO, mentioned he wasn’t certain how lengthy that may take.

“We wish to do it proper, not essentially quick,” he mentioned.

Offering nice take care of sufferers, their households and communities are high priorities for every group, together with bettering entry to high quality well being care, officers mentioned. Gundersen and Marshfield Clinic well being programs have spent years searching for to enhance well being care entry in rural areas by way of tele-health companies, the enhancement of crucial entry hospitals and clinics in small communities, and recruiting and retaining clinicians to observe in rural areas.

“We notice the success of our journey to offer (a) high-quality, excellent expertise and inexpensive care to complement lives and improve the well being of the communities we serve depends on working with many companions in a wide range of methods,” Rathgaber mentioned.

Officers from Gundersen and Marshfield started discussing a doable merger of their respective well being programs a number of months in the past.

“From the start, Gundersen has been wanting on the state of the trade … and questioning how we’re going to proceed to be viable and powerful,” Rathgaber mentioned.

“We all know the price of care is rising, and we all know that lots of the reimbursement mechanisms that exist in the present day are constrained,” Turney mentioned. “To be environment friendly and efficient and to actually really present high quality … care, we wished to begin interested by who could be companion.”

Listening to a few potential merger, each programs’ boards have been “very excited” concerning the risk, Turney mentioned, so “we determined to go to the subsequent step, which permits us to do the due diligence that’s essential to make this occur.”

The proposed merger would imply the brand new well being care entity would cowl greater than two-thirds of Wisconsin’s counties and about 1.6 million of its residents, Turney mentioned.

“This chance to unite guarantees the potential to amplify our influence and produce our care mannequin to much more communities by leveraging the strengths of two mission-driven programs with greater than a century of dedication to rural well being care,” Rathgaber mentioned in a information launch.

Requested for his ideas about Tuesday’s announcement, Michael Morrey, regional chair of administration for Mayo Clinic Well being System of southwest and northwest Wisconsin, issued the next assertion: “Mayo Clinic Well being System has an extended and cherished custom of offering distinctive well being care to residents in western Wisconsin. We look ahead to bringing Mayo Clinic care to residents for generations to come back. As a nationwide chief in well being care, Mayo Clinic is dedicated to offering care of the best high quality to every affected person. Mayo Clinic Well being System brings Mayo Clinic care to our group by way of a completely built-in observe that features world-class care.”

Officers at HSHS Sacred Coronary heart Hospital declined to remark.


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