Frequently Asked Questions

Please see below for a list of frequently asked questions and answers. To submit a question of your own, please contact us.

Overview

What is being announced?

We are pleased to launch Healthy State Alliance, a bold new ambition between The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Mercy Health. Our new Alliance brings together the best of health care in Ohio – one of the nation’s preeminent academic medical centers, and the leading health care provider in the state devoted to high-quality, compassionate care.

What does the Alliance hope to achieve?

We have a bold vision: To transform the health of the communities we serve by tackling the most critical health issues our communities face, while making health care more affordable and accessible for all. Together, we will drive the changes that are needed to create a new state of health in Ohio and beyond.

Why do The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Mercy Health want to work together?

This Alliance brings together the best of healthcare in Ohio – one of the nation’s preeminent academic medical centers, and the leading health care provider in the state devoted to high-quality, compassionate care. While we each bring unique expertise to the table, we have a great deal in common – including a shared vision for a new state of health and a focused mission to treat every person we serve with dignity, respect and excellence while training the next generation of medical professionals. We know we can do much more for the people we serve by working together through this Alliance, and we are excited about what the future holds.

Why We're Forming the Alliance

Why are the organizations forming Healthy State Alliance?

The health care issues we face are too great, and too urgent, to continue as we are today. Now is the time to work together in new and creative ways to improve the health of the communities we serve and help set the standard for the industry moving forward. The Healthy State Alliance has identified 10 objectives. Due to the pressing health care needs in the state, we will focus on three objectives initially: addressing the opioid epidemic and increasing access to cancer and transplant care.

We are fortunate to be able to use the collective resources of both of our organizations to fuel the Alliance’s ambitions, providing patients with increased access to more than 50,000 team members and more than 600 points of care throughout the state. We will also enhance patient access to one of the nation’s premier transplant centers – which has already saved more than 9,600 lives – and one of only 49 National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the country. And we will leverage the assets of one of America’s leading research universities to address the most critical health needs in Ohio and beyond.

Why is this alliance important for Ohioans?

Here in Ohio, our state faces the biggest health challenges in the nation:

  • Ohio has one of the five highest rates of opioid-related deaths in the nation.[1]
  • Ohio is among the nation’s leaders in both cancer rates and cancer-related deaths – with more than 25,000 Ohioans dying from cancer in 2016.[2]
  • More than 3,000 Ohioans are waiting for a life‐saving transplant at any given time.[3]

[1]The National Institute of Drug Abuse
[2]Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
[3]Ohio Department of Health

How will the Alliance improve the overall health and wellness for patients?

We will use the collective resources of both our organizations to improve the health and wellness for Ohioans:

  • Providing increased access to more than 50,000 team members and more than 600 points of care throughout the state;
  • Enhancing access to one of the nation’s premier transplant centers that has already saved more than 9,600 lives;
  • Expanding access to one of only 49 National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the country; and
  • Leveraging the assets of one of America’s leading research universities to address the most critical health needs of the state and beyond.

Our Alliance & Vision

What are the goals of the alliance?

By working together as the best in academic medicine and the best in community health care in Ohio, we’ll be able to develop innovative yet practical solutions for the people we serve. Due to the pressing health care needs in the state, we will focus early efforts on three of them in particular: addressing the opioid epidemic and increasing access to cancer and transplant care.

We know there are a number of other critical health issues facing our state, and over the coming months and years, we will work together to determine how to best meet these needs.

How will the alliance combat the opioid epidemic?

We will build a collaboration between Mercy Health and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to jointly combat the opioid epidemic facing our state through alliances in education, research and clinical care. Together, we will focus on several efforts, including:

  • Combining our clinical strengths to:
    • Improve the recognition of patients at risk for addiction;
    • Ensure safe prescribing to reduce the risk of future addiction;
    • Expand the use of innovative pain management strategies for procedures/surgeries;
    • Ensure use of evidence-based screening tools;
    • Help patients recover from opioid addiction;
    • Expand access to Medication Assisted Treatment; and
    • Address primary gaps in the care continuum and provide resources for peer support, education and clinical protocols.
  • Expanding community outreach programs to educate youth, parents, teachers and coaches on the prevention, recognition and treatment of addiction to opioids and other substances.
  • Working together to design a data architecture for the development of opioid prescribing metrics and benchmarks that can be used to measure the impact of initiatives and to proactively monitor prescribing patterns in our institutions.

How will the alliance work to improve transplant care?

Our vision to improve transplant care in our state includes increasing access to transplant services and increasing care coordination pre- and post- transplant procedures.

  • We will explore opportunities to expand The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s transplant program to Mercy Health’s patients.
  • We will work to increase care coordination by establishing a local office to facilitate close to home care coordination in high-need locations and developing telehealth programs.

How will the Alliance work to enhance the oncology care we currently provide?

Through the alliance, we will work to expand the latest in oncology care to more patients so they can receive advanced cancer care, closer to home. Together, we will focus on several efforts, including:

  • Providing expedited access to the latest research and oncology clinical trials, and jointly developing critical new programs;
  • Deploying virtual health platforms for specialty consultations for patients, for example for genetic counseling and survivorship planning;
  • Exploring opportunities for our physicians, advance practice nurses and oncology certified nurses to participate in one another’s continuing education programs;
  • Enhancing coordination of patient care with shared tumor boards and multi-disciplinary team-based care; and
  • Launching a scalable pilot alliance between our organizations that takes advantage of the strengths of both partners to provide excellent, evidence-based patient care.

For the Communities We Serve

How will this impact the care our patients and communities receive?

By working together to address specific issues and needs, we believe our Alliance can build upon the excellent care and services we provide to our communities. Nothing will be lost in terms of the excellent, compassionate care our communities receive at either organization.

How will this impact the patient experience at our facilities?

Our hope is to enhance your health care experience through our Alliance’s innovations, providing access to more resources and experts closer to home. We are excited to work together to drive the changes that are needed to create a new state of health in Ohio and beyond.

What insurance providers will the new system accept from patients?

Since we remain separate organizations, we will continue to honor the contracts in place at our respective facilities.