IU Health released a statement yesterday, laying out plans for a new primary care clinic in addition to a previously-announced pediatric facility. IU Health has “no immediate plans” to build a new hospital, according to the Journal Gazette (http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20171027/WEB/171029873)
What does this mean?
Axios provides a more national perspective (https://www.axios.com/new-indiana-competitor-poses-giant-ri…): “This is not just a small regional deal in Indiana. CHS is on the brink of collapse. And now Lutheran, one of CHS’ most profitable hospital systems, faces a powerful competitor that likely will nab Lutheran’s patients as well as doctors, nurses and other employees.”
The bottom line:
– As NICHE said Thursday, this is not “IU coming to town.” IU has been here for years with its regional campus and medical school, cooperating with local healthcare institutions.
– The IU Medical School is nearly certain to expand medical training to include residencies and limited research in Fort Wayne. IU Health will serve all of Indiana.
– IU Health will take the long view and continue to cooperate with local providers. It does not, as would a publicly traded company, watch their stock price on a weekly and quarterly basis. IU Health will build over time.
– The quality of their associates will matter. Specialists and primary care doctors using the best equipment are necessary to train nurses and doctors properly.
– “No immediate plans to build” is a prudent position that allows for building a hospital after it is first seen how an expansion is received.
– But, it is not all about IU Health, as Axios suggests. Parkview Randalia was once over 500 beds and has recently increased capacity from 50 to about 145 beds. Parkview has announced 850 open jobs with intent immediately to hire 300. Parkview Randalia could increase capacity by 200 beds within a year if that were warranted, and Parkview Regional Health has the funds to do so, along with an inviting employee culture. As NICHE reported recently, Parkview sent 150 nurses for “magnet hospital” training last month; it is not planning to become smaller.