Indiana, PA - Indiana County

STEVE WOLFE'S SEEDS OF WELLNESS: Care network created

by on July 29, 2014 10:49 AM

One of the most common questions I get around town is “given all the changes in health care and subsequent mergers in the region, can Indiana remain independent?”

The IRMC Board of Directors, medical staff and leadership are committed to remaining a locally governed and owned medical center and are working hard to implement the strategic roadmap forward.

An important component of that strategic foundation was working closer with key hospitals to improve quality of care, reduce costs and maintain local access to care for the communities we serve.

This week Indiana Regional announced the creation of the Pennsylvania Mountains Care Network and a closer working relationship with Indiana, Punxsutawney and Clarion hospitals in an effort to improve quality, contain costs and maintain local ownership.

This network is a vision that community hospitals are best positioned to serve their communities as our industry journeys toward population health management in the future.

The affiliation does not include the combination of assets and is not considered a merger.

However, management of the affiliated assets will now be vested in a board made up of the directors from the three hospitals.

The guiding principles for this affiliation include:

• Controlling costs

• Remaining independent with continued local governance and boards

• Purchasing benefits

• Improved access

• An expanded network of specialty physicians

• Improved patient outcomes through shared best practices

The three hospitals are a subset of the Pennsylvania Mountains Healthcare Alliance, which was founded in 1995 with a mission to help community hospitals remain independent by providing size and scale of a large health system for functions like group purchasing, health insurance pool, information technology initiatives and more.

Today, PMHA has 21 members, and the three hospitals believe that creating the Pennsylvania Mountains Care Network is the next step to continuing this mission and the success of independent rural health care providers.



Steve Wolfe, the President and CEO of Indiana Regional Medical Center, writes the periodic Seeds of Wellness column in The Indiana Gazette. His columns appear Tuesdays on the Health Page in the paper and in the Community News on The Indiana Gazette Online.
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