How MarinHealth stays impartial by means of partnerships, joint ventures

extra hospitals and well being methods are turning to partnerships as one other different to mergers and acquisitions.

MarinHealth, a small well being system anchored by a 327-mattress hospital inside the San Francisco Bay space, is one in all a quantity of methods that has maintained its independence by means of joint ventures and medical affiliations. The Greenbrae, California-based mostly system has continued to develop its prolonged-standing affiliation with UCSF well being, giving MarinHealth entry to UCSF’s digital well being file infrastructure and its specialists. MarinHealth might even be a factor of accountable care group cover well being, which consists of a community of greater than 6,000 essential care physicians, specialists and completely different healthcare suppliers inside the Bay space.

“The partnership with UCSF gives us the flexibility to recruit quaternary-type specialists that are second-to-none, like in neurosurgery and cardiothoracic surgical procedure,” mentioned CEO Dr. David Klein, who took the helm in September 2020.

Klein mentioned the MarinHealth board instructed him when he was employed that the well being system ought to stay impartial. greater than two years later, Klein mentioned he would not envision a state of affairs the place the group can be compelled to merge with one other system. 

That mentality has been more and more unusual, as many well being system executives always survey the sector for potential merger companions. methods typically search mergers to unfold rising labor and current prices over a a lot larger group, broaden their attain, enhance their standing inside the bond market amid rising prices of curiosity and funding declines, and increase their bargaining leverage with industrial insurers to mitigate Medicare reimbursement cuts. 

The strain to consolidate has mounted as median days money readily out there decreased by 23% yr-over-yr as of August, in line with an evaluation of roughly seven hundred nonprofit hospitals by consulting agency Kaufman hall.

however some well being methods have found that partnerships can current comparable advantages to merger and acquisitions with out a change in administration and rising operational complexity.

inside the case of MarinHealth and UCSF well being, two UCSF representatives sit on MarinHealth’s board. the ten-yr strategic alliance normal in 2018 included medical and knowledge know-how integration and a $a hundred and ten million capital funding from UCSF. The deal additionally permits MarinHealth to make the most of the UCSF well being mannequin, and MarinHealth’s doctor areas are collectively operated with UCSF.

speedy metropolis, South Dakota-based mostly Monument well being, previously Regional well being, has additionally pursued partnerships to protect impartial. Monument normal a bunch buying for partnership with Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based mostly Avera well being about 14 years in the past to bundle its buying for vitality. It has saved every group hundreds and hundreds of dollars yearly, mentioned Paulette Davidson, president and CEO of Monument. 

Monument additionally joined the Mayo Clinic Care community in 2020, giving it entry to Mayo’s evaluation, diagnostic and remedy sources, which have been significantly useful to a rural well being system like Monument, Davidson mentioned. “Monument well being has prided itself on being impartial and have relied on the philosophy of collaboration,” she mentioned. 

Hospital and well being system merger exercise has subsided recently as most acute-care markets have develop to be extremely consolidated. greater than two-thirds of the nation’s 5,139 acute care hospitals had been a factor of larger methods as of January 2022, in line with American Hospital affiliation. Fifteen years in the past, the share of system-affiliated hospitals versus impartial services was shut to a 50-50 chop up.

rising regulatory scrutiny of hospital consolidation amongst the numerous Federal commerce fee and state attorneys primary has additionally deterred mergers, mentioned Neil Olderman, a associate at regulation agency Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath who makes a speciality of healthcare transactions.

“Our purchasers want to joint ventures, strategic gives or collaborative agreements method extra versus acquisitions,” he mentioned. “in consequence of regulatory setting and shrinking quantity of healthful targets which have relevance inside a area, there are fewer merger matches.”

Durham, North Carolina-based mostly Duke well being and Brentwood, Tennessee-based mostly LifePoint well being normal a three method partnership in 2011. The three method partnership between the educational well being system and the for-revenue hospital chain operates greater than a dozen hospitals throughout North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Michigan. The objective was to mix the medical and extreme quality expertise of Duke with the administration expertise and capital of LifePoint.

“sufferers should preserve nearer to dwelling, and we thought we may current providers for care to be delivered regionally in a safe setting,” mentioned David Dill, chairman and CEO of LifePoint. “We pull collectively our operational expertise and capital funding. With that, our volumes develop, market share expands and our extreme quality improves.”

The three method partnership isn’t restricted to equity possession. The well being methods developed a care extreme quality program designed for group hospitals and launched pretty a pair of medical affiliations throughout the hospital community, Dill added. “all the pieces takes place on the hospital diploma by the use of day-to-day willpower-making,” he mentioned.

Autonomy was one in all many sticking factors that led to the breakup of Renton, Washington-based mostly windfall and Hoag, a small Southern-California based mostly system. Hoag separated from the fifty two-hospital system on Jan. 31, about 9 years after they mixed. windfall’s centralized governance mannequin allegedly stripped Hoag of native decisionmaking authority.

There had been a sequence of cultural, monetary and operational clashes, Hoag executives mentioned. As a factor of MarinHealth’s chop up from Sutter well being in 2010, the hospital sued the Sacramento, Calif.-based mostly system, alleging it had illegally diverted funneled $one hundred twenty million from MarinHealth. About three years later, a decide awarded the MarinHealth $32 million.

MarinHealth, which has Marin County’s solely designated trauma coronary heart, is buoyed by a strong industrial insurance coverage payer mix and benefited from Marin County residents’ monetary assist. That has contributed to its comparatively strong monetary efficiency in contrast with its friends. It had greater than a hundred days money readily out there in 2021, in contrast with a median of 27 days money readily out there throughout hospitals of comparable dimension and make-up, in line with trendy Healthcare’s knowledge coronary heart.

Independence ensures that MarinHealth can preserve willpower-making and funding native, Klein mentioned.

“Partnerships simply like the one with UCSF permit us to be nimble and make selections on the fly,” he mentioned. “It signifies that our earnings are invested again in hospital.”


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