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Mayo Clinic Looks to Affiliations to Expand Brand

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, June 7, 2011

Add the Mayo Clinic to the growing list of health systems experimenting with partnership and affiliation models.

Driven in large part by healthcare reform and the need to improve services while cutting costs, the venerable clinic is looking at ways to extend its brand across the southeast and upper-Midwest as well the Phoenix area. Plans call for eventual expansion across the country.

This is a significant change for Minnesota-based Mayo, which has historically stuck to the tried and true organizational structure of hospital ownership. Mayo Clinic Health System includes 19 owned hospitals in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, as well as two owned hospitals in Phoenix and Jacksonville.

But implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act and the introduction of accountable care organizations have brought some uncertainty to the provider industry.

"The entire healthcare market is up in the air right now," says William Rupp, M.D. the CEO of Mayo Clinic Jacksonville in Florida in an interview. "Everyone is looking at new models of cost-effective care. We think our model of integrating physicians and hospitals works very well. We're getting calls from other providers who want to learn more about how our system can help them."

Rupp is charged with identifying possible Mayo Clinic affiliates across the southeast. There is no timeline for signing new affiliates.

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