TODAY’S NEWS-SENTINEL.COM EDITORIAL: Addition of IU Health can make existing health care systems stronger

Kerry Hubartt

Indiana University Health, named among the “Best Hospitals in America” by U.S. News & World Report for 20 consecutive years, is coming to Fort Wayne. And that’s good news at a time when hospital beds are scarce and competition between hospitals and the resultant benefits to the community are important in providing top-notch, affordable health care.

IU Health confirmed earlier reports Friday that it plans to open a primary care Medical office in Fort Wayne in 2018 to be staffed by up to 15 physicians and advanced practitioners. As reported last week, IU Health is also believed to be planning two new outpatient facilities, one northeast and one southwest, and may add more facilities later. reporter Kevin Leininger reported that the providers “will be a part of a new IU Health physician group led by Dr. Geoffrey Randolph, a longtime Fort Wayne surgeon who was fired as Lutheran Health Network’s chief medical officer in June after a group led by local physicians made an unsuccessful $2.4 billion bid to buy the network from Community Health Systems of Nashville, Tenn.

IU Health, the state’s largest health care system, has more than $6 billion in annual revenues, 15 hospitals, 2,000 employed doctors, and 117,000 admissions and 2.6 million outpatient visits annually. It says it is expanding into the Fort Wayne market to respond to the community’s growing need for primary care, to attract and retain quality physicians in the area, and to serve its broader mission of helping make Indiana a healthier state.

State Senate President David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said, “The decision by IU Health to enter the Fort Wayne marketplace is great news for Northeast Indiana. IU Health has a stellar national reputation, and will be a welcome and high-quality addition to our region’s strong health-care presence. The fact that (former LHN CEO) Brian Bauer will be the CEO of the organization means that a talented and experienced hand will be guiding the ship.”

We think the addition of IU Health in Fort Wayne will serve to make long-time local providers Parkview Health and Lutheran Health Network even stronger.