Memorial Hospital, QMG submit application to establish healthcare transformation collaborative

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Memorial Hospital in Carthage and Quincy Medical Group submitted an application on Nov. 17 to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services as part of the Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives Public Act, which allocates $150 million annually for healthcare transformation collaboratives through 2027. 

The application proposes to establish a collaborative named the Ideal State Collaborative. The goal is to revolutionize the patient care experience by engaging the rural community through new and existing partnerships, resulting in a community-focused, patient-first approach to providing care with improved access. This goal will be accomplished by embedding outreach where it is needed, especially in the most underserved areas, while concentrating on patient-focused care experiences for everyone – offering personalized, affirming, affordable and accessible healthcare. The project includes a virtual and remote monitoring platform, expanded behavioral health services that have been identified as a significant need in the region, a small format hospital, birth center, rural health village and a hospital at-home program. 

“We have been working on a number of transformational projects, and so have our friends at QMG,” Memorial Hospital Chief Executive Officer Ada Bair said in a press release. “As we assessed the needs of our region, we realized it made a lot of sense to be an applicant for these funds. Our goal is to bring this funding to the west-central Illinois region. It provides a great opportunity to expedite high-priority projects, like expanding behavioral health services and creating new services, all while ensuring that we improve health equity for rural patients.”

Memorial Hospital recently bought a seven-acre site previously utilized as a nursing home facility in Hamilton. If funded, plans call for renovating the space and grounds, then offering comprehensive outpatient services, including a community health and wellness center and support for nutrition. The facility also will include expanded primary care, behavioral health and specialty care services.  

Carol Brockmiller, chief executive officer for Quincy Medical Group, describes the opportunity as a way to strengthen the decades-long relationship with Memorial Hospital.

“We’ve partnered with Memorial for years to deliver care to patients in the most rural parts of our shared region,” she said. “This funding would allow us to bring truly transformational technology, facilities and support much quicker than we’re able to without it. Between community-needs assessments and all of the many engagement conversations we’ve had with our community, it is very clear transformation would have a significant impact for our rural area and patients.”

The project is expected increase accessibility and expand quality services to patients in Adams, Hancock and surrounding counties. The region would see a more complete continuum of care for behavioral health, increased access to care for preventive services, primary care, specialty care and a decrease in the overall cost. 

Funding recipients and award amounts will be announced in the spring of 2022.

“Our projects are ready to go;” Bair said. “These are concepts that have been years in the making, and with the state’s funding available, everything really aligns well. The future of healthcare in our region looks really bright.”

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