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CoxHealth Joins Hands With Three Large Health Care Providers

Stethascope

CoxHealth in Springfield has entered into a formal relationship with three other not-for-profit healthcare systems.  The goal here is to make medical care more efficient and innovative. KSMU’s Shane Franklin has this story.

The collaboration will join CoxHealth of Springfield, BJC Healthcare of St. Louis, Saint Luke’s Health System of Kansas City, and Memorial Health System of Springfield, Ill. The new partnership is called the BJC Collaboration.

Steven Edwards is the president and CEO of CoxHealth. He says that as this collaboration takes effect, there won’t be any immediate change.

 “It’s more about the promise of opportunity of collaborating with some world leading institutions. We believe that if we take the best practice of each system in terms of patient care then we can 'leap frog' advancement, and make dramatic improvements to change and improve quality of care and find new efficiencies of delivering care.”

According to a release from CoxHealth, the combined strength of the new collaborative will include 4,821 hospital beds throughout Missouri, Kansas, and Illinois, and combined revenue of nearly $7 billion.

Edwards says that the combined purchasing power will make it easier to be efficient, and will improve quality.  He says another benefit of the combined purchasing power is standardization, which ultimately makes the health care arena safer.

He says he's really looking forward to the innovation side of this partnership.

 “In terms of clinical innovation we think there is a lot of promise. Keep in mind that one of our partners, BJC, has two world leading institutions, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, both often rank in the top five hospitals in the country and in the world. Both are doing some amazing things in both patients care and research, and se we look to harness some of their innovation and provide some of our own innovation to the collaborative.”

The BJC Collaborative will have its own board of governors. He says that each of the four organizations will have two seats on the board and will operate with unanimous consent when making decisions based about material items and practices.

Even though the organizations are sharing knowledge and working to increase efficiency, Edwards wanted to point out that this is not a merger. He says that each entity maintains its own governance and local board. He added that the collaboration is merely a vehicle for the four organizations to work on ways to spur innovation in healthcare.

For KSMU News, I’m Shane Franklin.