Mercy Iowa City has entered into a Strategic Affiliation Agreement with Mercy Health Network, a unified Catholic health network headquartered in West Des Moines, which includes 42 hospitals and 207 medical clinics in communities throughout Iowa.
“By joining Mercy Health Network, Mercy Iowa City will be able to maintain the high-quality and compassionate care for which it is recognized, while benefiting from the many advantages affiliation will bring,” Mark Phillips, chair of the Mercy Iowa City board of directors, stated in a press release. This affiliation is effective as of June 1.
According to administrators at Mercy Iowa City, this affiliation will allow Mercy to retain its name and local control, and help the hospital respond to the challenges and uncertainties of the health care industry.
“We are excited to have Mercy Iowa City, which is nationally recognized for outstanding and excellent patient care, become a Strategic Affiliate of the Mercy Health Network,” Dave Vellinga, president and CEO of Mercy Health Network, stated in a press release. “Mercy Iowa City has a long tradition of excellent health care.”
Over the last several months, Mercy Iowa City and UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids had conducted the due diligence phase of exploring an affiliation. Both organizations enjoy mutual respect for the commitments they have to their communities and the outstanding quality of health care they provide. They appreciate the collaborative working relationship they shared during the due diligence phase. However, due to health care industry challenges, the organizations have mutually agreed not to pursue an affiliation.
Mercy Iowa City has already implemented performance improvement initiatives that have improved operational and financial performance. The affiliation with Mercy Health Network will strengthen Mercy Iowa City’s financial performance even more by providing access to critical benefits such as payer contracting, group purchasing and economies of scale, access to systems that already exist within the network, strategic growth opportunities, as well as access to the Mercy ACO, the largest Accountable Care Organization in Iowa, and the two largest Catholic health systems in the country.
“After a lengthy process, we are pleased about this affiliation agreement between Mercy Iowa City and Mercy Health Network and we know that it will be beneficial for both parties,” Sister Laura Reicks, RSM, President of the Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community, stated in a press release. “This relationship will ensure that southeast Iowa will continue to be served by a Catholic healthcare system and continue the mission and values of the Sisters of Mercy.”