The Mayo Clinic Care Network is modeling an alternative to the trend of healthcare mergers and acquisitions. As many mergers are justified by seeking integration, they are finding that this integration does not come easily with the consolidation of financial statements.
The Mayo Clinic Care Network includes 31 members across 18 states. Each member underwent a rigorous evaluation and due diligence before being accepted into the network. Prospective members are “quality organizations that have a patient-centered culture, a desire to remain independent, and an interest in establishing a clinical collaboration.
Physician collaboration is beneficial to both the Mayo Network and its members. The Mayo Clinic receives a stream of revenue from the subscription fees, and sees extra patient volume from referrals to the Mayo Clinic from the network. Members of the network benefit from the Mayo Clinic Care expertise in fields, tested and successful interoperability within the network, and access to specialty care that would otherwise not have been available without the network. All of this is achieved while at the same time keeping care local, and specific to the needs of the patients, due to the independence of the providers in comparison to a traditional merger.
The Mayo Clinic Care Network’s success is attributed to its internally developed systems knowledge-sharing tools and clinical services. The networks services were developed internally so that the Mayo Clinic caregivers had the same tools as all the member sites, to achieve a more fluid interoperability. Three notable examples of internally generated information sharing technology within the Mayo Clinic Care Network are: eConsults, which facilitates a formally documented electronic consultation between network physicians and Mayo specialists and sub-specialists, AskMayoExpert, which is a web-based information system that delivers point-of-care medical information compiled by Mayo specialists to desktop computers and mobile devices, and eTumor board Conferences, which allows physicians to hold video conferences to discuss complex cancer cases.