IBJNews

UPDATE: Primary care at heart of hospitals' deal

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Community Health Network’s new partnership with Wishard Health Services will create a primary-care behemoth that the systems argue will put them in the best position possible to handle the changes coming from federal health reform.

The two Indianapolis-based hospital systems announced Monday morning that they have formed a joint operating partnership, which will coordinate the operations of their hospitals and health care facilities.

The two systems combined will have 29 health centers providing primary care and 28 locations providing behavioral health care.

“We are by far the largest organization in those two areas,” said Community Health CEO Bryan Mills, who also will lead the joint-operating entity.

The combined entity will be governed by a seven-member board, with four members coming from Community and three from Wishard.

Wishard,  the county-owned health system, will change its name to Eskenazi Health in 2014. Wishard is building a downtown hospital that will be the premier trauma center in Indiana as well as handle a large portion of Marion County’s indigent patients. The hospital is set to open in December.

The deal got started in late August when the leaders of Wishard—Lisa Harris and Matt Gutwein—visited Mills at his office on the northeast side of Indianapolis.

Gutwein, who is CEO of the Wishard-parent Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, said he and Harris realized their organization needed more “scope and scale” to handle the expected influx of patients coming from President Obama’s 2010 health reform bill.

That law raises various taxes to expand state Medicaid programs and provide subsidies for low- to middle-income Americans to buy private insurance. Combined, those efforts are expected to bring 27 million additional Americans into the health care system.

In Indiana, it is not certain that state leaders will expand the Medicaid system, which could dampen the number of newly covered patients. But patients with insurance coverage tend to use, on average, twice as much medical care as those who are uninsured.

“Our expectation from expanded coverage is more demand for services,” Gutwein said. “We expect that, which is one of the reasons why we’re doing this.”

Gutwein and Mills also said they were amazed at how little overlap the two hospital systems have in terms of geography and service lines. Mills said he had been considering if Community should get into the trauma business, but now it doesn’t need to, since Wishard has such a strong trauma program.

Their combined primary-care assets could help the organizations in two ways. First, health care reform is creating new ways of paying hospitals that will reward them for keeping patients healthy and out of the hospital.

Also, primary care physicians are often the first point of contact for patients who need specialized care. Their referrals are coveted by hospitals with large numbers of operating rooms and beds to keep filled.

The two systems will jointly operate Wishard's hospital and health centers, as well as Community’s hospitals, Community's physician network, its behavioral health services and many ambulatory sites of care.

Community is a not-for-profit system of seven hospitals, five of them in Marion County, and roughly 200 other surgery centers, imaging centers, physician offices and walk-in clinics. Community has more than 11,000 employees and annual revenue of $1.3 billion.

Wishard has more than 4,000 employees and more than $500 million in revenue.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Really?
    They can do all of the maneuvering they want, but you cannot put enough lip stick on that pig called the community health network. They can give you all of the corporate reasons why they are doing this deal...the only reason is that their internals told them they have big image a service problems at Community
  • Wine
    Here are a few more details.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. President Obama has referred to the ACA as "Obamacare" any number of times; one thing it is not, if you don't qualify for a subsidy, is "affordable".

  2. One important correction, Indiana does not have an ag-gag law, it was soundly defeated, or at least changed. It was stripped of everything to do with undercover pictures and video on farms. There is NO WAY on earth that ag gag laws will survive a constitutional challenge. None. Period. Also, the reason they are trying to keep you out, isn't so we don't show the blatant abuse like slamming pigs heads into the ground, it's show we don't show you the legal stuf... the anal electroctions, the cutting off of genitals without anesthesia, the tail docking, the cutting off of beaks, the baby male chicks getting thrown alive into a grinder, the deplorable conditions, downed animals, animals sitting in their own excrement, the throat slitting, the bolt guns. It is all deplorable behavior that doesn't belong in a civilized society. The meat, dairy and egg industries are running scared right now, which is why they are trying to pass these ridiculous laws. What a losing battle.

  3. Eating there years ago the food was decent, nothing to write home about. Weird thing was Javier tried to pass off the story the way he ended up in Indy was he took a bus he thought was going to Minneapolis. This seems to be the same story from the founder of Acapulco Joe's. Stopped going as I never really did trust him after that or the quality of what being served.

  4. Indianapolis...the city of cricket, chains, crime and call centers!

  5. "In real life, a farmer wants his livestock as happy and health as possible. Such treatment give the best financial return." I have to disagree. What's in the farmer's best interest is to raise as many animals as possible as quickly as possible as cheaply as possible. There is a reason grass-fed beef is more expensive than corn-fed beef: it costs more to raise. Since consumers often want more food for lower prices, the incentive is for farmers to maximize their production while minimizing their costs. Obviously, having very sick or dead animals does not help the farmer, however, so there is a line somewhere. Where that line is drawn is the question.

ADVERTISEMENT