The two health systems will co-own an 80-bed hospital in rural Schuylkill County, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Idaho, Pennsylvania, and Utah.
- Idaho: Cierra Shaffer, a 17-year-old receiving treatment for leukemia at St. Luke's Health, on Tuesday received a surprise call from former Vice President Joe Biden. Shaffer told nurses that Biden—who lost his son, Beau, to brain cancer—was her favorite vice president because "he loves ice cream, he's a man's man," and "he does all this cancer initiative stuff." Biden and Shaffer talked via FaceTime for 15 minutes, with Biden telling the teen, "You're going to beat this thing ... because you've got to come and see me in Washington" (Samuels, The Hill, 3/28).
- Pennsylvania: Geisinger and St. Luke's University Health Network on Tuesday announced they will partner to build and co-own an 80-bed hospital in rural Schuylkill County. The two health systems will have shared governance over the 120,000-square-foot, three-story building, which is set to open in late 2019. Geisinger and St. Luke's will share construction costs evenly, and once the hospital is open, the facility will be responsible for its operating expenses and revenue, according to Sam Balukoff, director of operations for Geisinger's central region. Both systems will provide additional funding, in even shares, if needed (Paavola, Becker's Hospital Review, 3/27; Bannow, Modern Healthcare, 3/27; Jones Sanborn, Healthcare Finance News, 3/28).
- Utah: Shriners Hospital for Children held an Easter egg hunt Wednesday for patients and their siblings. The hunt was designed for children of all abilities. It was part of the hospital's spring fest, which also featured a petting zoo, crafts, movies, and face painting (Dotson, Good4Utah, 3/28).
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Behind the flurry of M&A in recent years, a deeper trend of hospital integration is underway: the emergence of alternative partnerships that secure many of the same benefits of M&A without the financial and legal commitment: Clinical affiliation, regional collaborative, accountable care organization, and clinically integrated network.
This guide defines these types of partnerships and offers benefits, drawbacks, and examples of organizations in each.