Mayo gains an ally

Mayo Clinic welcomes first partner to new network

Altru Health System in Grand Forks, N.D., has become the first member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, a Mayo system that will afford partner hospitals opportunities for medical and business guidance, Modern Healthcare reports.

The network will provide participating hospitals access to an internal medical database and consulting advice on various topics, including quality-improvement and institutional policies, according to David Hayes, medical director of the network. Members also can receive electronic medical consults from Mayo experts. Hospitals must pay a fee to join the network, although the financial terms of the Altru affiliation were not disclosed.

The partnership differs from the Mayo Clinic Health System—which includes providers in about 70 communities in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin—because it is the first time Mayo has affiliated with an organization it does not own, the Grand Forks Herald reports. Altru will retain control of local operations and will be in charge of treating its own patients. Altru and Mayo initially announced the affiliation agreement in May.

"For many years, Mayo Clinic has enjoyed collaborative relationships with hospitals, group practices, and providers around the world,” Hayes said. “By developing formal connections with high-quality, culturally aligned practices, the Mayo Clinic Care Network takes these natural collaborations even further."

According to Healthcare Finance News, Mayo hopes the Altru relationship will inspire other providers in the region to consider partnerships. "While more people are seeking Mayo Clinic care than ever before, we recognize this as a unique opportunity to extend our knowledge base even further," Hayes said (Carlson, Modern Healthcare, 9/14 [subscription required]; Schuster, Grand Forks Herald, 9/14; Anderson, Healthcare Finance News, 9/15).

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