rss icon

Thursday, 24 May 2012 11:20

Mary Free Bed adds Battle Creek center to growing Rehab Network

Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)


By Mark Sanchez | MiBiz
[email protected]

WEST MICHIGAN — The latest entry into Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital’s statewide care network could very well end up as much more than a partner.

Under a letter of intent signed this week, Mary Free Bed may ultimately acquire a controlling stake in the Southwest Regional Rehabilitation Center in Battle Creek. Mary Free Bed will immediately assume operations and begin supporting and providing care at Southwest Regional when the agreement takes effect July 1.

The Grand Rapids-based rehabilitation hospital is proceeding under a plan that it will eventually acquire a majority share in Southwest Regional, Mary Free Bed CEO Kent Riddle said.

“I fully expect it will happen,” Riddle said. “Our intent is that they would become part of Mary Free Bed.”

The not-for-profit Southwest Regional operates a 26-bed rehab hospital and provides an array of outpatient care. Riddle hopes Mary Free Bed can decide within 18 months on whether to acquire a 51 percent share in Southwest Regional, which he said has struggled financially of late.

“Once we get it on solid footing, we’re going to execute that option and go forward,” he said.

Launched in 2011, the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Network seeks to partner with physician groups and hospitals around the state for patient referrals and care and to extend its care model and services to participating members.

Southwest Regional is the first of seven network members whose deal includes the potential acquisition of a majority share.

“Collaboration is a vital element for remaining strong in today’s health care environment. We are optimistic about what our joint future holds,” President and CEO Stan Tooley said. “We’ll go through this transition and see if we can get married.”

As a small rehab hospital, Southwest Regional has difficulty attracting the medical talent needed to expand services, Tooley said. The rehab hospital, for instance, has searched unsuccessfully for 18 months for a physiatrist.

“Frankly, we’re just too small to attract really talented people,” he said. “In terms of implementing and doing programs, we don’t have the resources.”

Becoming part of Mary Free Bed would provide Southwest Regional access to specialists, including a physiatrist, and a greater ability to recruit talent and expand services into areas such as a pain clinic, a children’s concussion program and worker’s compensation, Tooley said.

Read 2677 times Last modified on Friday, 01 June 2012 11:55

Breaking News

September 2018
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 1 2 3 4 5 6

Follow MiBiz