COLUMBIA, Mo. — Bothwell Regional Health Center in Sedalia, Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City, Hannibal Regional Healthcare System, Lake Regional Health System in Osage Beach and University of Missouri Health Care in Columbia have formed a collaborative network to improve access and better coordinate health care for patients in the communities they serve.

The five founding members of the Health Network of Missouri have more than 1,000 hospital beds, more than 9,300 employees and approximately 1,000 employed and affiliated physicians. They serve patients in adjacent counties throughout central and northeast Missouri.

“The nation’s health-care delivery system is changing rapidly,” said Harold A. Williamson Jr., M.D., executive vice chancellor of health affairs for the University of Missouri. “Hospitals and health systems must be innovative in developing ways to improve the health of populations, enhance the experience and outcomes of patients, and reduce per capita cost of care for the benefit of communities.”

The Health Network of Missouri is structured to allow members to work together as partners on common goals while enabling each hospital or health system to serve the health care needs of its own community and preserve its independence and unique identity. Each system will have equal representation in governance of the network.

The five health systems will work together to share best practices in business, clinical and operational practices. The work of the network will be conducted by task forces comprised of physicians and other leaders from each health system. Major initiatives of the Health Network of Missouri task forces will include:

  • Continuing to improve the health outcomes of the patients we serve
  • Sharing data and best practices
  • Improving access to care
  • Ensuring patient care among various providers is coordinated seamlessly through a clinically integrated network
  • Lowering health care costs and creating efficiencies that will benefit the patients and communities served by network members

“MU Health Care’s goal in joining the Health Network of Missouri is to continue to ensure our patients receive exceptional care,” said Mitch Wasden, MU Health Care chief executive officer and chief operating officer. “While remaining independent, the hospitals and health systems in this network will be in a position to drive positive change and improve health care for the patients in our communities.”

“Because MU Health Care is an academic medical center and tertiary care center, our patients often see MU physicians for specialty care,” said C. Todd Ahrens, president and chief executive officer of Hannibal Regional Healthcare System. “Through the network’s initiatives, we look forward to the possibility of developing a stronger clinical relationship.”

The network’s organizational meeting was held June 25.

Press Release Courtesy of University of Missouri Health Care