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Published on October 07, 2014

Saint Francis Healthcare System Joins Health Network of Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Saint Francis Healthcare System in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, will become the sixth member of the Health Network of Missouri.

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 announced formation of the network on June 25. The five founding member health systems voted to add the Saint Francis Healthcare System at a meeting in Columbia on Sept. 29.

The mission of the network is to improve access and better coordinate health care for patients in the communities served by the member hospitals.

The five founding members of the Health Network of Missouri have more than 800 hospital beds, more than 8,000 employees and approximately 1,000 employed and affiliated physicians. They serve patients in adjacent counties throughout central and northeast Missouri.

With the addition of the Saint Francis Healthcare System, the network will have more than 1,000 hospital beds, more than 10,700 employees and approximately 1,200 affiliated physicians. The addition of Saint Francis will expand the areas served by health network hospitals to include 18 counties in southeastern Missouri.

“The Saint Francis Healthcare System’s goal in joining the Health Network of Missouri is to continue to ensure our patients receive exceptional care,” said Steven C. Bjelich, FACHE-D, president and chief executive officer of Saint Francis Healthcare System. “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.”

The Health Network of Missouri is structured to allow members to work together as equal 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. The chief executive officers of each health system and a representative from each system’s board of directors will serve as the voting members of the network.

“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 deliver the right medical care at the right place, at the right time.”

A primary goal of the health systems is to build a clinically integrated network of independent, private practice and employed physicians to improve the quality and delivery of health-care services.

To meet that goal, the six 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 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
  • Lowering health-care costs and creating efficiencies that will benefit the patients and communities served by network members