Health care providers ‘transitioning’ agreement


Grand Rapids-based Pine Rest, founded in 1910, is a behavioral health provider that also operates outpatient locations across West Michigan. Courtesy Pine Rest

A pair of local health care providers have announced a “transition” in their 18-year joint operating agreement.

Mercy Health Saint Mary’s and Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services will conclude their agreement on Dec. 21, 2017, to “focus on other ways to work together to serve patients and the greater community.”

Pine Rest President and CEO Mark Eastburg said the JOA transition will not interrupt patient care.

"In light of the momentous changes in health care over the past several years, we made a mutual decision to transition the current agreement and develop a new relationship that will better serve our patients, our community and our institutions," Mercy Health St. Mary's President Bill Manns said.

The agreement, which has been in place since 1999, allowed Mercy Health St. Mary's patients access to Pine Rest’s services and vice versa.

The JOA licensed use of 110 beds at Pine Rest — 36 beds for children and adolescents at the Van Andel Center, 22 beds for adults in the Mulder Center, 26 beds for older adults at the Van Andel-Cook Center and 26 flex beds. The Mercy license included 116 beds for use by Pine Rest, 88 on Pine Rest’s campus for inpatient units and 28 at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in the psychiatric medical unit.

In addition to providing “more effective programs,” the organizations said the new relationship will reduce the redundancy of functions and expenses in the current structure.

"The Mercy Health Saint Mary's and Pine Rest partnership has made possible hope and healing for tens of thousands of Michigan residents over the past two decades,” Eastburg said. “Together, we are looking forward to pursuing new opportunities to live out the missions of our organizations to benefit the community." 

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