2 of the U.P.’s major hospitals are putting their heads together for 3 years to better the area’s health care services.

Marquette General Health System and Dickinson County Healthcare System in Iron Mountain have formed a partnership agreement.

Their goal is to improve communication between physicians, patients and hospitals.

MGH CEO Gary Muller says some of the hoped-for effects of that are to have patients seek health care in the U.P. instead of leaving the area, and for the hospitals to be able to negotiate lower insurance rates in the future.

More hospitals need to join in if that’s going to happen.

But Muller is optimistic that other health care systems in the U.P. will join the agreement in the near future.