RegionalCare forms JV with Montana system

Partnership aims to attract other providers in northern Rockies region

RegionalCare Hospital Partners, the hospital operator headquartered in Brentwood, and Billings Clinic have formed a joint venture to build a broad network of health care providers and provide other services — including financing — to peers in the northern Rockies region.

“Billings Clinic has a long-standing commitment to partnering with local communities to enhance access to quality health care,” said Nicholas Wolter, CEO of Billings Clinic, in a statement. “To build on this commitment, we have formed this relationship with RegionalCare in large part because of our shared values.”

Billings Clinic's network includes a 272-bed hospital, a 90-bed skilled nursing center and a physician group. The organization also manages nine critical access hospitals that service parts of Montana, Wyoming and the western Dakotas. Those relationships are not affected by the RegionalCare partnership.

RegionalCare’s Montana initiative takes it into a region where hospital operators based in Middle Tennessee don’t have much of a presence. HCA Holdings owns a hospital in eastern Idaho, LifePoint Hospitals runs two facilities in central Wyoming and Community Health Systems owns a hospital in the southwestern corner of that state. But no local company owns a hospital in Montana or the Dakotas and Regionalcare's closest facility is in Iowa.

Wolter and RegionalCare Executive Chairman Martin Rash noted in their statement that the joint venture fits with a national trend of excellent health systems combining expertise and capital. Last August, Franklin-based Iasis Healthcare entered into a JV with Aurora Health Care for the similar purpose of targeting acquisitions, new construction, facility management and services development in the Wisconsin and northern Illinois areas.