Three Illinois hospitals across the Mississippi River from St. Louis are working on creating a managed-care plan for their region, MODERN HEALTHCARE has learned.
With their nearly 850 acute-care beds, St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Granite City, Saint Anthony's Health Center in Alton and St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville have hired a consultant and expect to join the area's physicians this summer in forming a corporation.
"We're working to organize something around a managed-care provision so we can deal with the different insurers in St. Louis," said Ted Eilerman, president and chief executive officer at St. Elizabeth Medical Center.
The three hospitals cover a market of some 650,000 people.
They're not calling it a network, but Mr. Eilerman said it's more along the line of a regional physician-hospital organization. "The doctors would have an equity position in the entity," Mr. Eilerman said.
The hospitals haven't created a corporation thus far, but they have hired an Irving, Texas-based consultant, Donald Arnwine, the former president and CEO of VHA (then known as Voluntary Hospitals of America), to assist their plan's development.
Mr. Eilerman said other hospitals in the area could join the effort.
The activity on the Illinois side of the Mississippi comes during a flurry of mergers and acquisitions in the St. Louis area (April 18, p. 6).
"This isn't intended to replace what's going on on the west side of the river," Mr. Arnwine said. "We're putting together something that would tie into the west side."
Executives said they weren't in a position to disclose potential revenues of the corporation. "We will be doing some surveys on potential (revenue) sources, but we don't know yet who the physicians will be," Mr. Arnwine said.
The hospitals hope to have a formal structure for their plan completed by this summer.