Aspirus and Marshfield Clinic Health System leaders have signed a non-binding letter of intent to pursue joint efforts across their service areas.
Officials point out this is not a merger or acquisition. Aspirus and Marshfield Clinic will continue to be independent organizations with separate boards, cultures and brands.
One of the points being explored is for Asprirus to allow Marshfield Clinic a minority interest in Aspirus Riverview Hospital in Wisconsin Rapids.
Details have not been finalized and other work needs to be done but officials say they hope to move their joint efforts forward within a couple of years.
Dr. Susan Turney, Chief Executive Officer for Marshfield Clinic, says the long term goal is lower costs for patients...
"....and that is our number one priority. It is to reduce the cost of care for our communities and our patients..."
Aspirus president and CEO Matthew Heywood says as health care changes, health care providers need to change as well. He says collaboration will improve patient service. He outlines one way....
"....if I get seen by a Marshfield doctor and then get transferred to Aspirus Hospital, my medical record doesn't easily follow me. And as we move forward and start to work together in more collaboration, we can figure out how to get our IT systems to coordinate and talk..."
Dr. Turney says Marshfield Clinic is also looking at possibly building a hospital in Marshfield. Last December, the Clinic Board of Directors voted to seek membership in AboutHealth, a strategic partnership of seven Wisconsin health care organizations, including Aspirus, and to explore a relationship with Aspirus. Dr. Turney says the letter of intent identifies elements of the new Aspirus-Marshfield Clinic relationship.