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Five Missouri hospitals team up for better care

Shelby Mann

Five hospitals in Missouri have announced the formation of a collaborative network today. The network is an effort to improve health care and access to health care in Missouri.

The newly formed Health Network of Missouri is composed of Bothwell Regional Health Center in Sedalia, Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City, Hannibal Regional Healthcare System, Lake Regional Health System in Osage Beach and the University of Missouri Health Care in Columbia.

John Dawes, President and CEO of Bothwell Regional Health Care, said the network originally formed in August 2011 in anticipation of the Affordable Care Act, but became serious about forming as a legal entity in November 2013. He said they were looking toward the changes and challenges in the future of providing healthcare.

“At the end of the day, we all have a vested interest in improving the level of access and quality care in our respective communities,” said Dawes. 

Dawes said as a collective group they can accomplish more in raising the bar in improving quality healthcare. The hospitals will do so by sharing data and ensuring patient care between providers is better coordinated.

CEO and COO of MU Healthcare Mitch Wasden said the hospital network is intended to be in patients’ best interest. 

“The benefits to patients over time would be higher quality and more efficient low-cost healthcare,” said Wasden.

Wasden said group purchasing of supplies and healthcare registries will contribute to the universal quality of healthcare.

The group is not anticipating many downsides, but will focus on keeping constituents aware and engaged. Dawes and Wasden both emphasized the health systems are forming together as partners, not as a single, large company. Each of the healthcare systems will have equal representation.