On Monday, July 6, I held a public open forum to discuss Grinnell Regional Medical Center's affiliation with Mercy Health Network.
The open forum was taped, and below are a few clips from the evening's discussions with me and Joe LeValley from Mercy Health Network.
Under this proposed agreement, GRMC would contract services and share best practices with Mercy network hospitals. The proposal does not call for a change of ownership or a merger. The GRMC board of directors would retain control over the medical center. No assets would be exchanged. This is not a sale of the hospital.
An affiliation with Mercy has the potential for cost savings and sharing ideas for improvement on a continuous basis. For example, GRMC could lower costs through shared contracting, improve revenues through strength in payor negotiations, share continuing education costs, and improve quality and service through shared best practices and innovations.
Additionally, there is potential savings from increased access to specialized expertise. This could include, but is not limited to help with physician recruiting, information technology expertise, joint venture opportunities with large clinical equipment purchases, etc. The financial benefits of such an affiliation will be significant in terms of what GRMC will save as being a part of a larger purchasing group alone.