Two years after breaking apart with the Seattle-based Virginia Mason well being system, Yakima Valley Memorial is outwardly able to see new individuals.
Officers from the hospital introduced this week that they’ve signed a letter of intent to spend the subsequent two months trying into becoming a member of the nonprofit MultiCare Well being System.
Tacoma-based MultiCare is a secular group that’s been round for 140 years. Its community contains 11 different hospitals and tons of of clinics throughout the state, and Memorial has already been partnering with MultiCare to offer oncology for the previous yr or so.
However is that this a very good match for Memorial? Higher query: Is that this excellent news for the Yakima Valley, which is all the way down to only one main hospital because the 2020 closure of Astria Regional Medical Middle?
From a monetary standpoint, it’s promising. Fitch Rankings gave MultiCare a stable AA- credit score rating in November 2021 and concluded the well being care system’s outlook was “secure.”
That’s considerably reassuring, provided that none of us needs to observe a hospital bleed out the way in which Astria Regional did.
It’s additionally encouraging — definitely from a affected person’s standpoint — that MultiCare is a nonprofit. We’d be suspicious that an out-of-area for-profit firm is likely to be in search of methods to squeeze each dime it may from an area hospital. Worse but, we’d be involved that such an organization would slowly transfer sure companies or procedures to centralized places, forcing native sufferers to journey or be transported for sure sorts of care.
A Monday information launch from Memorial appeared to handle such questions:
“Becoming a member of MultiCare would permit Memorial to speed up its potential to spend money on new applications; implement an built-in digital well being report; and supply a sustainable future for Yakima’s solely hospital.”
MultiCare’s CEO, Invoice Robertson, appeared clear that his group would concentrate on serving to present high-quality well being care near house:
“We consider that it’s of vital significance for communities throughout our area to have entry to the well being care they want, in these communities,” Robertson mentioned. “I’m hopeful that our two organizations will discover methods to work collectively to make sure that sufferers and their households within the Yakima Valley have entry to a full complement of companies near house for a few years to come back.”
We hope so, too.
With a inhabitants that continues to develop, the Yakima Valley’s well being care wants aren’t effectively served if its central hospital is relegated to satellite tv for pc standing in a wider community. Native households shouldn’t worry that their family members is likely to be shuttled to Seattle, the Tri-Cities or Spokane for remedies they’re used to getting right here. We want at the very least one dependable, impartial hospital could make its personal native selections about native wants.
With a bit of luck, the subsequent two months ought to inform us if Memorial and MultiCare are supposed to be collectively. We simply hope that the highest consideration for each organizations is offering good, inexpensive and full native well being care.
As a result of all of us have loads driving on this.
Yakima Herald-Republic editorials mirror the collective opinion of the newspaper’s native editorial board.