Benedictine Health System of Duluth, Minn., is involved in two partnerships in Minnesota to build skilled nursing facilities on hospital campuses within the next year and a half. The projects in Red Wing and Owatonna aim to improve care coordination for senior adults, in large part by strengthening the connection between Benedictine's long-term care facilities and acute care providers. Benedictine owns or manages 50 eldercare communities in seven Midwestern states.
Chris Boldt, Benedictine Health System vice president of operations, explained that Benedictine is partnering with health care providers near its long-term care facilities to ease the transitions senior adults make between their home, the hospital and the long-term care environment, and in many cases back home. They're focusing on improving how they manage the care transitions across the care continuum for senior adult patients throughout the Benedictine system, Boldt said.
Under this care coordination model, said Boldt, Benedictine and its partners will meet regularly to develop what Boldt calls "seamless transitions." Staff from the hospital, outpatient sites and long-term care locations will share information to improve care coordination. The approach also includes educating patients and caregivers about how to transition successfully after discharge and training more clinicians on post-acute care.
In Red Wing and Owatonna, the centerpiece of the strategy is locating skilled nursing beds on acute care campuses. The beds will be designated for rehabilitation and complex medical care.
Boldt explained, "Location on the hospital campus increases opportunities to build a sense of community between providers and ultimately avert rehospitalizations."
In Red Wing, Benedictine and Fairview Red Wing Health Services are consolidating the skilled nursing operations at their respective eldercare facilities in Red Wing and moving them to a $17 million, 80-bed facility to be built on the campus of Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing.
That new facility will be operated by a Benedictine subsidiary called Benedictine Living Center of Red Wing and it will provide long-term care, transitional care and rehabilitative care. Set to open in late 2013, the facility will be Catholic and will follow the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.
The agreement between Benedictine and Fairview took effect July 1, as the Mayo Clinic Health System of Rochester, Minn., acquired Fairview Red Wing Medical Center, which it rechristened as Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing.
Plans call for Benedictine to move its skilled nursing operations from St. Brigid's at Hi-Park in Red Wing to the new facility. Fairview Red Wing will move its skilled nursing operations from its Seminary Home. St. Brigid's is a Catholic campus with 62 skilled nursing beds. St. Brigid's campus also includes assisted living and independent living facilities; those will remain intact on that campus. Seminary Home is a Lutheran facility with 84 skilled nursing beds.
The systems would not disclose the financial details of the deal.
In Owatonna, Benedictine is partnering with Steele County, Minn., to open by January an 80-bed skilled nursing facility called the Koda Living Community. It will be attached to Allina Owatonna Hospital. The 80 skilled nursing beds will be transferred to Koda from Cedarview Care Center, which Steele County Communities for a Lifetime owns through a 50-50 partnership between Steele County and Benedictine. Benedictine manages Cedarview and its assisted living facility, Park Place, which will remain open at its existing location.
Steele County Communities for a Lifetime will own Koda, and Benedictine will manage Koda's operations. Koda will follow the Ethical and Religious Directives.
Boldt said Benedictine likely will continue to pursue similar projects — physically locating long-term care facilities with acute care sites and using a coordinated care model.
Copyright © 2012 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
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