Charlevoix Area Hospital has entered a new agreement with Munson Healthcare in Traverse City. The agreement is similar to Munson’s current relationship with hospitals in Gaylord and Manistee.
Charlevoix CEO Lynn Jenks says the larger system will help Charlevoix Area Hospital to negotiate better deals on equipment and supplies. She says the smaller hospital will not give up any local control.
“If I can maybe give you an analogy, it’s kind of like dating before you get engaged, before you get married and have children. We’re a long way from marriage and we’re not, at this point, looking at changing the ownership of our hospital,” she says.
Jenks says Munson will also provide the smaller hospital with expertise it wouldn’t have otherwise, in areas including computer support services and medical reimbursement. Jenks
says Munson can offer Charlevoix needed expertise during a time of transition related to federal health reform.
“We don’t know how the Affordable Care Act will ultimately impact that reimbursement,” Jenks says of private and government insurance payments. “What we know for sure is that no insurance company wants to pay us more than they’re paying us today. So that means there are financial challenges ahead for all hospitals.”