Cape Girardeau hospital system looking to partner with larger health care system

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) – A Heartland hospital is looking to partner with a larger health care system.

SoutheastHEALTH announced the plan, called “Project Forward Vision,” on Thursday, May 12.

According to President and CEO Ken Bateman, he anticipates the Board of Directors will lay out objectives for the Requests for Proposals at their June meeting and outline prospective partners in July.

SoutheastHEALTH announced the plan, called “Project Forward Vision,” on Thursday, May 12.

In addition, they will work with an investment bank and financial services company to write a letter of intent for a potential partner in the fourth quarter.

A partnership could be finalized by the fourth quarter of 2023.

Bateman said the plan is not based on a financial need, citing a bond sale in May 2021 with more than $1.3 billion in orders, more than 20 times the $65 million of bonds issued.

According to SoutheastHEALTH, a partnership with a larger system will give them more resources, including better access to specialty care, better employee wages and benefits and supply chain contracts.

”And there are a lot of challenges that healthcare is going to have to deal with such as making investments in technology…how do we bring the cost of care down, how do we reach patients that are not in our immediate market and make it affordable to them,” he said. “You can do that with a large organization. Because a large organization will spread those cost over multiple facilities. When we invest in those technologies we have to absorb that cost. So there’s a lot of reasons why now is the time for us to be thinking about a part of a larger system.”

SoutheastHEALTH has a network of more than 51 care locations in 11 communities, including hospitals, primary and specialty care clinics.

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