Eau Claire (WQOW)- Marshfield Clinic Health Systems announced a big partnership Wednesday and big plans for the future.
Marshfield Clinic says its aiming to change the healthcare model and ultimately lower costs for patients. The first step in that was announced Wednesday when the clinic shared it has joined forces with Aspirus of Wausau.
This new partnership could have ripple effect in Eau Claire.
Moving forward, Aspirus and Marshfield Clinic say a key initiative will be to to build a new "hospital of the future" or acquire a co-owned hospital in the Eau Claire area. Details about the venture have been limited,
A news release Wednesday points out the collaboration between Aspirus and Marshfield Clinic is not a merger or acquisition.
News Release - Aspirus and Marshfield Clinic Health System (MCHS) leaders have signed a non-binding letter of intent to pursue new initiatives that will improve the quality and affordability of care available to communities throughout the region. This collaboration is not a merger or acquisition. Aspirus and MCHS will continue to be independent organizations with separate boards of directors, cultures and brands.
The letter of intent identifies key opportunities to improve high quality, affordable and accessible health care by better integrating services and improving the systems' ability to provide population health management. Two key initiatives are:
To build a new “hospital of the future” or acquire a co-owned hospital in the Eau Claire area.For Aspirus to allow MCHS a minority interest in Aspirus Riverview Hospital in Wisconsin Rapids.Details of these initiatives have not yet been finalized and the health systems must still conduct feasibility studies and analyze community needs. Leaders hope to advance each initiative within two to three years.
“This letter of intent represents rapid progress,” said Dr. Susan L. Turney, chief executive officer (CEO), MCHS. “We are excited about working together to integrate services, focusing on affordability for our patients and making our communities healthier together.”
On Dec. 12, 2014, the MCHS Board of Directors voted to seek membership in AboutHealth, a strategic partnership of seven Wisconsin health care organizations, including Aspirus; and to explore a potential relationship with Aspirus. The letter of intent announced today identifies elements of that relationship.
Matthew F. Heywood, president and CEO of Aspirus, said close collaboration between two strong and independent health systems will help improve care for communities throughout the region.
“The health care industry is evolving and systems like Aspirus and Marshfield Clinic Health System must change as well,” Heywood said. “By collaborating in new ways, we can make incredible improvements for those we serve.”
Aspirus is a non-profit, community-directed health system based in Wausau, Wisconsin. With more than 7,000 employees, Aspirus serves communities throughout northern and central Wisconsin, as well as the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The integrated system includes four hospitals in Michigan and four hospitals in Wisconsin, 50 clinics, home health and hospice care, pharmacies, critical care and helicopter transport, medical goods, nursing homes and high-quality affiliated physicians.
About Marshfield Clinic Health System
Marshfield Clinic Health System oversees Marshfield Clinic and other subsidiaries, including Security Health Plan of Wisconsin, Inc., Marshfield Clinic Information Services, Flambeau Hospital in Park Falls and Lakeview Medical Center in Rice Lake. Marshfield Clinic, with more than 50 locations in Wisconsin, serves patients through accessible, high quality health care, research and education with more than 700 physician specialists in 86 specialties and more than 6,500 employees.