NorthShore, Mayo pact has business benefits
Updated: October 21, 2012 2:08PM
GLENVIEW — Officials at NorthShore University HealthSystems and the Mayo Clinic this week touted their new partnership as a victory for area doctors who want patients to benefit from the Minnesota-based Mayo’s world-renowned reputation and resources.
The announcement also raises Evanston-based NorthShore’s regional profile, at a time when health care systems face pressure from rapid medical technology changes, government mandates and competing medical systems like Chicago-based Northwestern Memorial Healthcare.
During a Monday interview ahead of the Sept. 19 announcement, NorthShore President and CEO Mark Neaman downplayed that competition as a factor in his organization’s decision to go with the partnership.
“There is an element, for sure, of competition in health care,” he said. “The NorthShore response, historically and in this instance, has not been to denigrate anyone else but to lift up the opportunities for NorthShore and the patients we serve.”
Those patients won’t be billed separately for the medical expertise they can now get through NorthShore from Mayo, for example; instead, NorthShore will pay a subscription fee to take advantage of the Mayo network.
Dr. David Hayes, the Mayo network’s medical director, said partnerships like this could be interpreted as business moves, but are ultimately about patient care.
Both men said the federal Affordable Care Act and potential future federal health care changes probably prompted both sides to speed up the partnership.
“Deciding to proceed with the (clinic care network), and establish deeper relationships with organizations that were similar to us, was definitely, in part, expedited by what we thought was going to happen down the road,” Hayes said.
“Ultimately it’s up to the people that we serve whether they think this is actually going to work, but it’s something that we want to invest in,” Neaman said.