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Health system patients see increased services, less friendly atmosphere

Minnesota Public Radio, August 30, 2012

Sixteen independent hospitals have become affiliated with health systems since 2005, according to the Minnesota Hospital Association. Of the 145 hospitals counted by the Minnesota Hospital Association, only 42 remain independent. When asked to tell us how these changes have affected healthcare on the ground, respondents in our Public Insight Network gave a wide variety of opinions. No system was immune from praise or criticism, but themes did emerge. Patients liked getting quicker test results and the benefits of electronic medical records. In some locations, they praised systems for expanding local medical services. But some reported shortened appointment times, a less friendly atmosphere and the loss of familiar doctors and nurses.