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Rice Memorial Hospital Board in Willmar, Minn., to consider proposal tonight for joint anesthesia, sleep lab services

WILLMAR -- Local anesthesia services would be enhanced under a proposal to fold them into Willmar Medical Services, a 4-year-old joint venture between Rice Memorial Hospital and Affiliated Community Medical Centers.

The plan would transfer sleep lab services into the joint entity as well.

The proposal is on the agenda of the Rice Memorial Hospital board of directors, which meets at 5:30 p.m. today.

It has been under formal discussion since last fall and has support from leaders at both Rice and ACMC.

Hospital services that would be transferred to Willmar Medical Services include inpatient and outpatient professional services by certified registered nurse anesthetists for procedures performed at Rice; anesthesia facility fees for outpatient procedures performed at Rice; and all facility fees for sleep lab services done at Rice.

ACMC services transferred to the joint entity include physician anesthesiologist professional fees for procedures done at Rice and at the Willmar Surgery Center; all sleep lab physician professional services performed for patients at Rice; and all certified registered nurse anesthetist professional services performed at the surgery center.

Rice and ACMC would each contribute $1.14 million of their annual net income to help capitalize this expansion of the Willmar Medical Services joint venture.

Other major services already provided through the joint venture include same-day surgery services at the Willmar Surgery Center, medical imaging, medical and radiation oncology services at the Willmar Regional Cancer Center, and outpatient diabetes education, as well as some mid-level professional services in areas such as orthopedic surgery. Profits and losses are shared 50-50 between ACMC and Rice.

Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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