In a quiet, but possibly market-changing move, the Mayo Clinic affiliated itself with Altru Health System of Grand Forks, N.D., last Thursday. It's not the affiliation itself that's important, however. In fact, the partnership is relatively informal, allowing the two health organizations to share resources without combining assets or merging.
What is important is the idea behind it, says the Rochester Post-Bulletin. And that idea is a big one: The Mayo Clinic sharing its hefty brand with health facilities around the U.S. that it doesn't own. The Clinic already covers 70 hospitals and clinics in Minnesota, Michigan and Iowa under its Mayo Health System umbrella. Going forward, Mayo will affiliate with more centers like Altru, and eventually build a nationwide group of partners, David Herman, a medical director at Mayo, told the newspaper.
"The concept of the Mayo Clinic Health System will begin to grow, and it will become a nationwide activity surrounding our central 'destination sites,'" such as Scottsdale, Ariz., said Mayo Clinic Health System CEO Robert Nesse. Jacksonville, Fla., however, appears to be the most likely campus for the growth plan to kick off.
The news for competitors in Mayo's target markets is likely to be both good and bad. Good for facilities that become Mayo partners, and bad for those who have to compete against them.