Health care in the United States is changing. It's no secret that the
Affordable Care Act requires providers to stop doing business as usual.
Its goal is to increase coverage and improve services while lowering
costs. But that's not the only reason health care providers are quickly
evolving the way we treat patients. For those of us with a lot of skin
in the game - such as hospitals and networks of providers - creating a
better model of care is necessary because the current fee-for-service
system that drives volume is simply unsustainable.
St. Luke's and UnityPoint Health are uniquely positioned, as the
fifth largest nondenominational health system in the country, to lead
changes in health care that focus on care for a lifetime, not a visit,
test, or admission alone. Our network of providers incorporates all
levels of care, from hospital to doctor to home health, and spans a
sizable geographical region. We can make a strong impact on the
communities we serve. So we've decided to lead the change toward health
management and disease prevention to improve care while lowering costs.
In my view, it's what we wanted to do all along, but we've been working
against decades of industry regulation and incentives, technology and
specialty evolution and a culture of defeating death versus getting on
It makes sense to reflect this degree of change in the name of our
health system. UnityPoint Health, the name we chose to replace the name
Iowa Health System, tells the world we're approaching health care in a
new and better way, focusing more on patients and coordinating their
care. And because we are no longer just an Iowa organization, this name
better represents our partners in Illinois than did our previous name.
St. Luke's Hospital will still be known as St. Luke's Hospital. We
are affiliates of UnityPoint Health. All former St. Luke's Physicians
and Clinics will now be called UnityPoint Clinic. All of our home care
entities such as Hospice, Home Medical Equipment and Visiting Nurse's
Association will be called UnityPoint at Home. We have developed a
team-based approach with our clinic and home health partners over the
years, and the name UnityPoint Health demonstrates the way our network
has become a point of unity for our patients.
The name change is a result of two years of discussions and research.
Our regional affiliates, board of directors, physicians, staff and most
importantly our patients, came together to determine the best way to
position our organization for the future. We developed a strategic plan
focused on a new care coordination model, expansion and organizational
growth. There will be no change in management, structure or staff
involved in this brand change. Overall, UnityPoint Health employs more
than 24,000 individuals throughout Iowa and Illinois, and each region
will maintain its existing leadership and local boards of directors.
UnityPoint Health began in 1993, when Iowa Methodist and Iowa
Lutheran in Des Moines merged. At the time, the merger created the
state's largest provider of hospital and related health services. St.
Luke's became a UnityPoint Health affiliate the following year. Over the
decades, our health system has expanded its geographic reach throughout
Iowa and into Illinois, and developed comprehensive services throughout
the region. Today, UnityPoint Health is now one of the nation's
most integrated health systems. Through relationships with 29 hospitals
in metropolitan and rural communities and more than 200 physician
clinics, UnityPoint Health provides care throughout Iowa and Illinois.
There are 15 senior affiliate hospitals in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, the
Quad Cities, Dubuque, Sioux City, Waterloo, Fort Dodge and Peoria, IL.
At St. Luke's, we are redefining ourselves to become a fully
integrated delivery system that includes doctors, long-term care, home
health and a host of other services. We recognize we can best coordinate
our patients' care with our own organized system of care. Unifying the
distinct elements of our regional health care system in new ways will
allow us to coordinate patient care more along the line of what's best
for the patient and their family than "what do the regulations allow or
insurance companies pay for." At the end of the day, St. Luke's true
purpose and mission is to give the health care we'd like our loved one