Five Missouri health systems form population health network
Five Missouri health systems, led by an academic medical center, have created a loose alliance focused on improving the health of the population and reducing costs along the way.
University of Missouri Health Care, a $706 million, four-hospital teaching system based in Columbia, will be the cornerstone of the group, Health Network of Missouri. The partnership, which is not a merger, is yet another example of health systems ironing out collaborative strategies without combining their balance sheets. The other four affiliates of Health Network of Missouri are Bothwell Regional Health Center, Sedalia; Capital Region Medical Center, Jefferson City; Hannibal (Mo.) Regional Healthcare System; and Lake Regional Health System, Osage Beach. Together, the five systems have 9,300 employees and about 1,000 employed and affiliated physicians.
Mitch Wasden, CEO and chief operating officer of University of Missouri Health Care, said that better care for area residents at a lower cost is the core of the arrangement. By sharing patient data and sending patients to the appropriate provider, the member hospitals believe costs across each organization will go down. The systems will not, however, seek contracts with Medicare or private insurers as an accountable care organization, he said.