Marshfield Clinic Health System plans new hospital, signs letter of intent with Aspirus

Marshfield (Wis.) Clinic Health System is moving forward with its plans to expand outpatient surgery and other ambulatory services and build a new hospital in Marshfield.

The plan involves expanding outpatient services provided in the ambulatory surgery center in Marshfield by the end of this year. In order to accomplish that, the system will offer skilled nursing care in the East Wing of its Marshfield campus, according to a news release. No new buildings will be needed for the expansion.

The second phase of the plan includes construction of a new hospital in Marshfield, tentatively scheduled to open by summer 2018, according to a news release. MCHS did not release a lot of specific details about the new hospital but did say it will be high-tech and "allow for highly-specialized care that requires a hospital setting."

"This new hospital allows us to more efficiently manage patients' care, seamlessly transitioning them to the appropriate facility, whether that's one of our specialty clinics, our outpatient surgery centers or a hospital," MCHS CEO Dr. Susan Turney said in a statement.

Also this week, MCHS announced that it and Wausau, Wis.-based Aspirus have signed a non-binding letter of intent "to pursue new initiatives that will improve the quality and affordability of care available to communities throughout the region."

MCHS noted that the collaboration is not a merger or acquisition. Aspirus and MCHS will continue to be independent organizations with separate boards of directors, cultures and brands.

Key opportunities identified in the letter of intent include building a new "hospital of the future" or acquiring a co-owned hospital in the Eau Claire, Wis., area, and for Aspirus to allow MCHS a minority interest in Aspirus Riverview Hospital in Wisconsin Rapids, according to a news release. Leaders hope to advance each initiative within two to three years.

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