Two health-care providers went public on April 4: If all goes well, local nonprofit CarePartner’s affiliation with Mission Health — the state's sixth-largest system — will be official by October. The plan makes practical sense, according to Tracy Buchanan, the nonprofit’s CEO and president. "We’re not in dire straits financially,” she said. “This is not a bailout."
Challenges and changes in the health-care industry are driving the deal, she explains. CarePartners currently serves close to 3,000 patients each day and specializes in post-acute care in services, ranging from home health to prosthetics. By teaming up with Mission, the nonprofit will “be able to more freely access that information to plan the pathways of care for our patients. We'll have more timely information,” she says.
"Typically, one out of every five Medicare patients is readmitted to the hospital within 30 days," says Mission Health CEO and President Ron Paulus. "Now we'll be able to joint clinical programming together to care for those transitions to make sure it's seamless. Our doctors, over time, will be able to access the electronic information about that patient no matter whose database it's sitting in.”
The merger means providing the most effective care, he adds. “This is a natural, evolutionary step."
Paulus notes that the next step includes a due-diligence process that will begin immediately and conclude later this summer. In late July, the two organizations will finalize the affiliation agreement. CarePartners will retain its name and branding.
"We only have a modest overlap around what we do, primarily around physical therapy,” says Paulus. “Over the next number of weeks and months, we'll be doing some joint strategic planning … to figure out the best way to work those things together," he reports.
"As health care providers, we have to take responsibility for a population of individuals. That population is not hospital-centric, it's not doctor-centric and it's not home-care-centric. It's [about offering] the right service at the right time in the right place for that patient with the highest value of care at the lowest possible cost."
In the immediate future, CarePartners patients won't notice a change in the delivery of services, says Buchanan. But eventually, she says, "We really think that what patients will see is smoother transitions of care and higher quality care in the long run."
— Caitlin Byrd can be reached at 251-1333, ext. 140, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.