When finalized, the terms of the letter of intent call for Mercy to recruit additional physicians to the two Ottumwa clinics and to invest in improving facilities and equipment. Reiter said depending on what local doctors and Mercy believe is necessary, they may decide to add specialists back into the mix in the future.
Dave Vellinga, president and CEO of Mercy Des Moines and Mercy Health Network, said in a press release he’s glad to have the Ottumwa physicians working toward a long-term relationship.
“The more we get to know the physicians and other practitioners and staff in the Ottumwa clinics, the more impressed we are with their dedication to their patients and their community. We look forward to concluding the details of this relationship and beginning our official relationship on July 1.”
Those patients will be essential to the long-term success of the clinics, said Jim FitzPatrick, senior vice president for network development at Mercy.
“We ask all the patients and families who have used these clinics and health care providers over the years to continue their loyalty through the transition. We are confident by working together, Mercy and the local physicians … will make the excellent health care services, provided in Ottumwa for many years, even better.”
Reiter emphasized that there will be no interruption in patient care. While that seems to be due to Ottumwa staff and their new partner, Reiter said another organization deserves credit, too.
“UnityPoint has been extremely cooperative in making it as easy as possible for us to have this seamless transition,” he said.
FitzPatrick said Mercy’s plan includes longer hours, urgent care and expanded laboratory services. He noted Mercy Clinics use health coaches, disease registries and other tools which he says have demonstrated measurable benefits to patients.
Reiter characterized the pending partnership as good news.
“We fit very well geographically and philosophically,” he said.
To see reporter Mark Newman's Twitter feed, go to @couriermark