The boards governing Indian River Medical Center, of Vero Beach, Fla., have approved a series of agreements for the county hospital to join the Cleveland Clinic health system.
As part of the transaction, the Clinic has committed to invest at least $250 million in IRMC over the next decade, according to a news release.
In separate public meetings on Wednesday, Oct. 3, the IRMC board of directors and the Indian River County Hospital District Trustees both voted in favor of the move. Agreements are expected to be formally signed this week and completed before the end of the year, according to the release. Once filings and approvals required by governmental agencies are complete, the transaction will close. "We appreciate the commitment and dedication the Indian River board members and trustees have demonstrated as they sought the right partner," said Dr. Tom Mihaljevic, CEO and president of Cleveland Clinic, in a prepared statement. "As health care continues to evolve this is a great opportunity for our organizations to come together and work in tandem to enhance access and advance health care today and in the future in Vero Beach."
Just the day before, the Clinic announced that Martin Health System, a three-hospital system also in Southeast Florida, will become a full member of the Clinic, pending federal and state regulatory reviews. The moves are part of the Clinic's strategy to build a system in Southeast Florida, stretching from its main campus in Weston, where the Clinic this year is opening a new 180,000-square-foot hospital tower this fall
"Indian River Medical Center is an anchor institution and a true community asset," said Dr. Wael Barsoum, president and CEO of Cleveland Clinic Florida, in a prepared statement. "We look forward to working closely with the leaders, physicians and staff to build on their great foundation of care and to strengthen support for indigent care."
Following a public meeting on Sept. 25, the board members and trustees that govern Indian River Medical Center spent a week examining the details and deliberating their decision.
"This has been a very long road, with countless hours of effort by not only our trustees and the IRMC board members but from people across our community," said hospital district chair Marybeth Cunningham in a prepared statement. "We can all be very proud of how transparently the process was conducted, and this terrific end result of that hard work."
When the deal is finalized, IRMC and its affiliates will become part of the Clinic, which will have the ultimate governing authority at IRMC. Under an amended and restated agreement with the Hospital District, Indian River Medical Center will continue to lease the hospital facilities and the land they're on for a term of up to 75 years.
In addition to the $250 million commitment, the agreements state that the Clinic will maintain maternity care, in-patient well baby care/pediatrics and gynecology services, behavioral health/mental health services, inpatient and outpatient cardiovascular services, inpatient and outpatient cancer care services and gastroenterology services at IRMC for at least 10 years, according to the release.
As part of the agreements, district support for indigent care at IRMC will phase out over three years, while the Clinic's charity care policy will take effect on the first day. After three years, the Clinic/IRMC will be responsible for indigent care in general at the hospital.
Also as part of the agreements, district support for indigent care at IRMC in general will phase out over three years after the transaction's closing, while Cleveland Clinic's charity care policy will go into effect on the first day, according to the release. After the three years, Cleveland Clinic/ IRMC will assume responsibility for indigent care in general at the hospital. The district plans to continue its support for the Partners program, which provides prenatal and post-partum care.
"This is an extraordinary day in the history of our community," IRMC board chair Dr. Wayne Hockmeyer said in a prepared statement. "People across the country and across the world know that Cleveland Clinic stands for world class healthcare, and they will be partnering with the exceptional staff, physicians and nurses at IRMC to provide that level of care right here in Vero Beach for years to come."
"Indian River Medical Center of Florida to join Cleveland Clinic Health System" originally appeared in Crain's Cleveland Business.