Peace Health, UW Medicine ink 'collaboration' deal

PeaceHealth and UW Medicine signed a 10-year "collaboration agreement" Sept. 12, under which PeaceHealth, which operates medical clinics and hospitals in Friday Harbor, Bellingham and other locations, will refer complex cases or high risk patients to University of Washington hospitals and clinics.

PeaceHealth previously had attempted to negotiate a different kind of cooperative arrangement with the Franciscan Health System, a unit of Catholic Health Services of Colorado, a large national provider of health care services. The negotiations were terminated earlier this year for unspecified reasons.

PeaceHealth was recently selected as a possible affiliation partner by Skagit Regional Health hospitals and Cascade Valley Hospital. Island Hospital of Anacortes, operator of Orcas Medical Center on Orcas Island, participated in the selection process but decided not to participate in further negotiations with PeaceHealth.

The PeaceHealth agreement with UW Medicine specifies, "This Agreement is not a merger, acquisition, corporate restructure or lease and does not constitute a change in governance or change in mission for either organization."

The agreement specifies eight "examples of advanced medical care" that might be provided by UW Medicine to PeaceHealth. Some of those specialty care services include level 1 trauma and burn care, cancer care, organ transplantation, complex cardiac and vascular care and complex neurological surgical care.

— Steve Wehrly


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