Sunday, February 03, 2008

Hospitalization *for* Washington County?

Hi folks,

More mergers among our local hospitals-insurance-industrial-complex [sorry, I've been rereading President Eisenhower's Farewell Address this weekend.]

From BizTimes Daily:
Thursday, January 31, 2008

SynergyHealth to pursue affiliation with Froedtert

The board for West Bend-based SynergyHealth today announced that it will enter into "in-depth" affiliation discussions with Froedtert & Community Health.

Synergy had considered becoming affiliated with Froedtert, Aurora Health Care or Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare. Earlier this week, Aurora withdrew its bid for an affiliation with SynergyHealth.

Froedtert is in the process of merging with Columbia St. Mary's to form a health care system called Progressive Health. As part of SynergyHealth's possible affiliation with Froedtert, St. Joseph's Hospital in the Town of Polk, the West Bend Clinic and SynergyHealth staff would become part of Froedtert & Community Health and the Progressive Health organization.

"After a careful and thorough review, Froedtert & Community Health emerged as a strong partner that is committed to investing not only in St. Joseph's Hospital and the West Bend Clinic but also our community," said SynergyHealth chief executive officer Gregory Banaszynski. "We look forward to structuring an agreement with Froedtert that will enable us to control costs, improve services and develop a stronger health care infrastructure in Washington County."

SynergyHealth, as those of us who live here remember, pulled St. Joseph's Hospital out of West Bend and moved it 20 minutes further south into a bigger new building closer to Hwy 45 in Jackson. Columbia-St. Mary's, as you'll remember, pulled St. Mary's Hospital out of Port Washington and moved it 20 minutes further south into a bigger new building closer to I-43 in Mequon.

In both cases, we heard the argument that relocating these hospitals, away from the population centers that had supported them, would make health care more convenient and less expensive.

The hospitals are now less convenient and more expensive.

I'm not sure how much more of this kind of cost savings we can stand.


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