Health Care at Home Recap

Six upper peninsula hospitals belong to superior health partners, including four of the facilities we’ve visited in this series.

The group formed in 2010 with a goal of growing the health care job market in the U.P.

And the best way to do that is to stem the tide of patient outmigration.

Superior Health Partners and Marquette General Health System CEO Gary Muller says the group would be thrilled if services that are performed at its member hospitals stay in the U.P.

He says Superior Health Partners is binding relationships together between physicians across the U.P. and also pushing hospitals to improve customer service.

Superior Health Partners is helping its member hospitals in three specific areas.

Baraga County Memorial Hospital CEO Tim Zwickey says those are help with funding for recruiting physicians in specialties that the area doesn’t currently have, information technology like a more centralized medical records system that multiple area hospitals could share and marketing the services the U.P. does have.

No matter which hospital you’re talking about, Zwickey says the services in the u–p are of higher quality than many people realize.

And outmigration doesn’t necessarily mean improved care.

He says he’s worked all over the country, and he says the services and patient care here stack up for the most part with what’s available anywhere.

Zwickey says patients at Baraga County Memorial sometimes feel they can get better care in Marquette, Marquette patients sometimes feel they can receive better care in Green Bay, and Green Bay patients can feel they’d receive better care in Milwaukee or Chicago.

But he says there are many studies finding that the care available in a critical access hospital in a rural area is, in many ways, better that what you would find in a larger facility.

He says smaller hospitals have lower infection rates, and they have more personalized care because the physicians are more likely to know their patients personally or, at least, to know someone in their patients’ families.

Superior Health Partners is also working with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to make people in the u–p more aware of the benefits of health care at home.

Posted by: Mike Hoey