The partnership trying to keep patients from leaving the U.P. for their health care needs is adding new members.
Superior Health Partners has just added 3 new hospitals that will join Marquette General and Bell Hospital in the group.
Portage Health, Baraga County Memorial Hospital and Dickinson County Healthcare System have just joined.
The hospitals will still remain independently operated, but this should improve their ability to retain the business of U.P. patients.
Portage Health CEO Jim Bogan says their hospital had been looking at joining for at least a year.
When its patients have to be referred elsewhere for treatment, 75% of them are referred to other health systems in the U.P.
Partnership officials say they’d like other U.P. hospitals to join.
A large insurance carrier has also been welcomed in.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is now part of the group.
Patrick Prichard of Blue Cross says the company wanted to join because, like the hospitals, it wants U.P. residents to have affordable health care services within reach locally.
Superior health partners says 100 million dollars leave the u–p each year because of u–p patients going elsewhere for their care, mainly to wisconsin.
If it can cut into that, it will mean more local health care jobs.