Could You Gain by Affiliating with a Larger Health Network?

July 9, 2015

Grinnell Regional Medical Center LogoIs bigger better? For Grinnell Regional Medical Center (GRMC), a 49-bed rural hospital in Grinnell, Iowa, affiliating with the larger Mercy Health Network in Des Moines has certainly had its benefits.

Back in 2009, when GRMC first decided to explore creating an affiliation with a bigger network, there was growing recognition that for a community hospital to offer a comprehensive set of services, it had to look for opportunities to supplement its existing skills, notes Todd C. Linden, FACHE, President and CEO of GRMC. In addition, from a scale standpoint, as things move toward population health, it also recognized that it needed to be able to spread risk, either through direct contracting, partnering with insurance companies, or becoming its own insurer.

To determine the best option for GRMC to achieve its goals in scaling up, Linden says it hired an outside consultant to go through a formal process of exploring the options, and looking at the benefits and disadvantages that would come with joining a larger system. “It was clear at the end that there were more advantages than disadvantages,” he says.

Read our new article to learn how GRMC proceeded once the team had decided to join a larger network, and how it has worked out. Plus, Linden offers 3 tips for other providers considering a similar network affiliation. Go there now: You Don’t Have to Go It Alone: Why One Rural Health Care Organization Joined a Larger Network—and What You Can Learn From Its Example.

Best regards,
Matt Humphrey

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