Marshfield Clinic Health System’s commitment to lower costs, improve patient experience moves forward
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield Clinic Health System (MCHS) will move forward with plans to expand outpatient surgery and other ambulatory services and build a new state-of-the-art hospital of the future in Marshfield, in an integrated approach to health care focused on reducing overall costs and improving quality for patients.
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The MCHS Board of Directors approved this direction at its March meeting, seeing the urgent need to respond to increasing health care costs for which patients are responsible.
"Our top priority is to lower the overall cost of health care for all the communities, patients and businesses we serve while continuing to provide superior care. We must take bold steps now to secure the future of health care for our communities and to make sure we are here for another 100 years," said Dr. Susan Turney, chief executive officer, MCHS. "The average family income in our region is about $40,000, with $4,000 in medical debt. These families are choosing between seeing their doctor for needed care or paying their mortgage and other household bills. A nonprofit, mission-driven organization, we can't let this situation continue. It's our top priority."
Plans are to expand outpatient services provided in the Ambulatory Surgery Center in Marshfield by the end of 2015. To do this, the Clinic will have skilled nursing care in the East Wing of its Marshfield campus. No new buildings are needed for this expansion at Marshfield. Similar plans to lower the total cost of care have been designed for all of its mission-critical centers.
Skilled nursing facilities, a growing national trend, allow a patient to stay without having to be admitted to a hospital following surgery. This leads to lower costs and a dramatically improved patient experience. No longer will patients undergoing certain procedures have to recover in a hospital atmosphere, but instead can rest comfortably in a private room with their families.
"We can transition about 30 percent of procedures performed in a hospital to an outpatient setting, reducing overall cost for patients by cutting the number of hospital stays, which are more expensive," Turney said.
Hospital of the Future
The second phase of the plan includes construction of a new hospital of the future in Marshfield, tentatively scheduled to open in about two years.
A smaller, more smartly-designed and more energy efficient high-tech facility will allow for highly-specialized care that requires a hospital setting.
The new hospital will need staffing with nurses, technologists and other employees. These needs will be clarified when final plans have been determined, including a site and design.
"This new hospital allows us to more efficiently manage patients' care, seamlessly transitioning them to the appropriate facility, whether that's one of our specialty clinics, our outpatient surgery centers or a hospital," Turney said. "Our commitment is to invest in Marshfield and all the communities in Wisconsin we call home. We're excited to take this next step toward improving affordability and overall health care for our patients and their families."
Marshfield Clinic Health System (MCHS) oversees Marshfield Clinic and other subsidiaries, including Security Health Plan of Wisconsin, Inc., Marshfield Clinic Information Services, Flambeau Hospital in Park Falls and Lakeview Medical Center in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. Marshfield Clinic, with more than 50 locations in Wisconsin, serves patients through accessible, high quality health care, research and education; with more than 700 physician specialists in over 80 specialties and subspecialties and more than 6,500 employees.