Mercy And Unity Hospitals To Be Consolidated

Previous collaborations inspired parent company Allina to merge the two Anoka County medical centers.

Allina Health said Tuesday it would be coordinating certain care services between its Mercy and Unity hospitals through a “one hospital, two campuses” consolidation plan.
At the start of 2017, the Unity hospital in Fridley will be adopting the name Mercy Hospital – Unity Campus. Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, which is roughly 10 miles from Unity and the larger of the two facilities, will keep its name.
Minneapolis-based Allina’s collaborations with Metropolitan Heart and Vascular Institute influenced the merger, the company said. For years, the three medical institutions have coordinated advanced cardiac and vascular service care. Those efforts have led the heart program at Mercy to be touted as one of the Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospitals in the U.S. by Truven Health Analytics nine times in 12 years.
Additionally, through a consolidation effort with Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Allina shifted maternity services to Mercy last year. As obstetric services at Mercy improved significantly, Allina began to analyze new opportunities where folding programs from different hospitals could enhance service strength.
Therein came the idea for the Mercy-Unity unification.
Allina plans to spend $17.5 million to shift its mental health and addiction medicine services solely to Unity. The move won’t occur until “early 2017.” By consolidating the programs, the hospital expects access to care for mental health patients—60 percent of which also suffer from addiction—will be enhanced.
“Improved access in our primary care and mental health clinics will help to avoid a crisis that may result in a trip to the emergency department,” said Unity president Helen Strike. Last year, roughly 52,000 patients were admitted to its emergency room.
Allina will also renovate Unity’s nursing unit to support inpatient mental health services, which is currently offered only at Mercy.
Both hospitals will maintain emergency room operations, as well as general care services. However, specialized care units will become centralized at one or the other location—many of which are yet to be decided. Allina has not said what other unit consolidations it expects to make.
Allina expects that uniting the hospitals will not only better patient care capabilities, but also improve the work environment for physicians and staff members.
Allina operates 61 clinics, 13 hospitals and 15 pharmacies throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Last year, the company had operating revenue of $3.8 billion.