Joint small hospital powers deliver system-sized success

Even small, independent hospitals can enjoy the benefits that major health systems have, according to Raymond Hino, CEO of Mendocino (Calif.) Coast District Hospital. Although it had an inherent disadvantage in revenue generation and expense control due to low volumes, he wrote in Hospital Impact, the free-standing Mendocino Coast District Hospital leverages a state law, joint powers authority (JPA). JPA permits public hospitals and other governmental entities to collaborate with each other as one entity. The JPA allows it to join four other district hospitals as the Northern California Health Care Authority, in which it hopes to expand quality care by eliminating duplicative services, create a formal structure for business discussions and collaborate on fundraising, physician strategies, negotiations with health plans and group purchasing. The result: The hospital partnership speaks as one local political voice, bought a managed care plan and shared telemedicine services, education and revenue enhancement.

"Just because you are a small, independent hospital does not mean you cannot achieve some of the benefits of belonging to a system," Hino said. Blog post