The Nebraska Heart Institute and Nebraska Heart Hospital joined Catholic Health Initiatives July 29.
The institute is a physician practice group specializing in cardiac, vascular and thoracic medicine; and the heart hospital is a 63-bed facility in Lincoln, Neb., with a network of more than 40 clinics around Nebraska.
Under the deal, the institute and hospital become part of CHI's Nebraska network, which includes four hospitals, a physician network and affiliated services. The newly added facilities retain their names and will continue to provide the same services — and may even grow in time, said Bob Lanik, CHI senior vice president of divisional operations and chief executive and president of Lincoln's Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center. Nebraska Heart physicians will retain their current affiliations, including those with non-CHI hospitals.
Under CHI, the Nebraska Heart organizations will follow the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.
Some CHI hospitals in Nebraska already provide cardiac care. CHI has yet to determine how the deal will impact those services.
Lanik said the acquisition of the Nebraska Heart organizations is in line with tenets of health care reform. For instance, reform calls for hospitals and physician groups to partner more closely, and this arrangement will facilitate that.
Lanik added, "With health care reform, we're seeing specialty groups become part of full-service health systems. This positions both organizations to be able to sustain our services, thrive and grow well into the future."
Also, he noted, health reform limits physician-owned hospitals when it comes to adding beds and expanding. "As part of the CHI organizations in Nebraska, Nebraska Heart Hospital will no longer have these limitations," he said.
Lanik said that with the Nebraska Heart organizations joining CHI, "we will be able to bring faith-based health care to more patients in Nebraska as well as parts of Iowa and northern Kansas."
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