UW Medicine, RCCH HealthCare Partners launch partnership to support community, rural hospitals in Pacific Northwest

Feb 08, 2018, 18:47 ET from UW Medicine

SEATTLE, Feb. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- UW Medicine and Tennessee-based healthcare system RCCH HealthCare Partners announced the creation of a public-private partnership to own and operate community hospitals in Washington, Alaska and Idaho.  The partnership will take the form of a limited liability company (LLC) that will own and operate community hospitals or other healthcare entities. RCCH will operate and manage these facilities and UW Medicine will provide clinical and quality expertise.

Changes in healthcare have created new challenges for smaller community hospitals around the region.  Many are seeking partnerships with larger hospitals and health systems to ensure that they can continue to provide quality care to their communities. Often, these partnerships are necessary to maintain access to capital to support growth and quality improvement resources for continued success.

"RCCH has proven expertise in operating community hospitals," said Dr. Paul Ramsey, CEO of UW Medicine.  "UW Medicine is partnering with RCCH through this public-private partnership to provide expertise in patient safety and quality improvement.  Helping hospitals throughout the region improve their quality and safety is part of UW Medicine's overall mission to improve the health of the public."

RCCH will operate and manage each of the community hospitals. The community hospitals will retain their unique identities and names but will be further branded as "A UW Medicine Community Health Partner."

"We are honored to join UW Medicine in this exciting new partnership," said RCCH Chairman and CEO Marty Rash. "The healthcare landscape in our country is changing rapidly and we look forward to working with a world-class organization like UW Medicine to find the best ways to ensure that high quality care is available to people in communities throughout the region."

The new partnership and its hospitals will benefit from and leverage UW Medicine's work to achieve the "Triple Aim" of improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction), improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita cost of healthcare. Both UW Medicine and RCCH will be equity owners of this new LLC with each having representation on the LLC Board and Quality Committee.

"In addition to expanding to new communities, the new partnership will build on our existing relationships in Washington, Idaho and Alaska and should enhance our research, teaching and clinical activities in these states," said Ramsey.

UW Medicine has an existing relationship with RCCH.  Capital Medical Center in Olympia, Washington, is owned and operated by RCCH and is a member of the UW Medicine Accountable Care Network.  The UW Neighborhood Clinics operate an outpatient clinic in Olympia in collaboration with Capital Medical Center; Capital Medical Center will be the first hospital under the new partnership in 2018.

"The success we have shared with UW Medicine in Olympia sets the stage for this new partnership," said Rash. "We look forward to working together to serve hospitals and communities in Washington, Idaho, and Alaska."

About UW Medicine
UW Medicine is one of the top-rated academic medical systems in the world. With a mission to improve the health of the public, UW Medicine educates the next generation of physicians and scientists, leads one of the world's largest and most comprehensive medical research programs, and provides outstanding care to patients from across the globe. UW Medicine's four hospitals—Harborview Medical Center, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, University of Washington Medical Center and Valley Medical Center—admit more than 63,000 patients each year. A network of hospital-based and outpatient clinics sees more than 1.3 million patients each year.

The UW School of Medicine, part of the UW Medicine system, leads the internationally recognized, community-based WWAMI Program, serving the states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. The UW School of Medicine has been ranked No. 1 in the nation in primary-care training for more than 20 years by U.S. News & World Report. It is also second in the nation in federal research grants and contracts with $749.9 million in total revenue (fiscal year 2016) according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

UW Medicine has 26,000 employees and an annual budget of $5 billion. Also part of the UW Medicine system are Airlift Northwest and the UW Physicians practice group, the largest physician practice plan in the region.

For more information, visit uwmedicine.org.
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About RCCH HealthCare Partners
RCCH HealthCare Partners works with communities to build strong regional healthcare systems that are known for quality patient care. Based in Brentwood, Tennessee, RCCH HealthCare Partners operates 16 regional health systems in 12 states. RCCH HealthCare Partners has more than 14,000 employees and 2,000 affiliated physicians and mid-level providers. For more information, visit www.RCCHHealth.com.

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SOURCE UW Medicine