MINNEAPOLIS-Fairview Health System of Minneapolis and the Ebenezer Society, a long-term-care provider, have taken steps to develop a network to care for older adults and the chronically ill. The companies signed a "memorandum of understanding to affiliate" that will lead to a final agreement in the next three months. Citing efforts to reduce costs and build on existing relationships, they said the venture should be a natural. "Our strengths in long-term care, senior housing and community services are highly complementary to Fairview's in primary- and acute-care medical management," said Mark Thomas, Ebenezer's president and chief executive officer. "By sharing information and expertise, we can create better outcomes for the people we serve." The two organizations already are involved in Care Source and the Geriatric Network-separate Twin Cities efforts to improve medical care and services for the chronically ill and older adults. Fairview operates six hospitals with 1,550 beds and 21 primary-care clinics in the Twin Cities area. Ebenezer owns or manages four nursing homes in Minneapolis and Burnsville, Minn., and 13 senior housing facilities throughout the state.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa-The merger of 441-bed St. Luke's Methodist Hospital in Cedar Rapids into Iowa Health System has been finalized. By adding its third hospital, the system now has nearly $450 million in assets and some $450 million in annual net patient revenues (Aug. 15, 1994, p. 17). "We will provide consistent, high-quality services that will be conveniently available to patients almost statewide," said David Ramsey, president and chief executive officer of Iowa Health System. The merger is the system's first outside of the Des Moines market. St. Luke's market share is 62% of a seven-county area with a population of 300,000, which includes Iowa's second-largest city, Cedar Rapids, population 120,000. Iowa Health System was formed in 1993 through the merger of 710-bed Iowa Methodist Medical Center and 319-bed Iowa Lutheran Hospital, both in Des Moines. Iowa Health System will be a holding company for Methodist, Lutheran and St. Luke's. System officials have said they believe it will grow to include hospitals across the state.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich.-Traverse City will be left with one acute-care hospital after March 27 when the emergency department at Traverse
City Community Hospital closes. The 81-bed facility, originally Grand Traverse Community Hospital, was acquired in 1993 by Munson
Healthcare for $1.5 million. On April 1 it will officially merge with 315-bed Munson Medical Center across town and convert to an outpatient facility with a walk-in clinic, rehabilitation and diagnostic services and possibly physician offices. Munson plans to renovate the campus and rename it Munson Community Health Center. Munson Medical Center will be the only acute-care facility in Grand Traverse County, population 65,000. The not-for-profit system also owns hospitals
in neighboring Benzie, Leelanau and Kalkaska counties. A spokesman said the merger will include layoffs, but the number hasn't been finalized. A task force set potential savings to the community from the merger at $200,000 to $2.3 million a year.