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Myths and Facts
   A mother and her two children.
Connor, Kirsten and Kylie Galloway
Maple Grove residents

Facts About the Maple Grove Hospital Proposals

In an effort to clarify some of the misperceptions we have encountered about the Northwest Metro aArea hospital proposals, we have put together the following facts. Please let us know of any about questions or issues you have heard about: info@maplegrovetricare.com

Myths: Here are the Myths. Click on the links to see the facts.

1. If any provider other than North Memorial builds a hospital in Maple Grove, it will harm North Memorial's Robbinsdale facility.
2. If the Tri-Care Partnership builds a new hospital in Maple Grove, it will increase market concentration.
3. North Memorial has the largest existing market share in the service area of a new Maple Grove hospital.
4. North Memorial is the hometown team.
5. All proposals include Level I trauma. Maple Grove needs a Level I trauma center.
6. Each proposal offers similar behavioral health services.
7. North Memorial has more employees in the proposed service area of a new hospital.
8. Most residents prefer North Memorial.
9. If North Memorial does not build a new hospital in Maple Grove, a hospital should not be built.
10. The Senate does not want a hospital in Maple Grove



Myth: If any provider other than North Memorial builds a hospital in Maple Grove, it will harm North Memorial's Robbinsdale facility.

Fact: In its analysis of the Tri-Care Partnership proposal, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) found that 10 of the 11 existing hospitals currently serving patients from the Maple Grove area will experience increases in the total number of inpatient days in 2009 and 2015, compared to 2003. The increases are due to rapid population growth, and an aging population, which will increase demand at existing hospitals. Further, the MDH concluded that the only hospital projected to experience a reduction in inpatient days in 2015 compared to 2003, as a result of the Tri-Care proposal, is a member of the Tri-Care Partnership, not another health system facility. Last session, in his statement at the House health policy hearing on April 4th, 2005, Rep. Zellers supported that conclusion: "for most facilities, growth and demand will still occur."

Two hospitals recently have been constructed in the Metro Area without creating adversity for existing hospitals in their regions: Woodwinds Hospital in Woodbury (opened in August 2000) and St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee (replacement hospital opened in July 1996).

From 1999 (one year before Woodwinds opened) to the first half of 2004, hospitals in the East Metro Area have seen an aggregate increase in average daily census of 7.7% (3.9% excluding Woodwinds). Since 1999, despite a 67% increase in average daily census at St. Francis, other facilities in the West Metro have also grown 6.4%.

It is quite likely that if North Memorial transfers beds from its Robbinsdale campus to a new hospital in Maple Grove, it will reduce access for North Minneapolis and Robbinsdale residents to its Robbinsdale hospital.

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Myth: If the Tri-Care Partnership builds a new hospital in Maple Grove, it will increase market concentration.

Fact: In its review, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) found no basis for claims of increased market concentration. To the contrary, the MDH reported, "šit's important to note that all of the proposed hospitals for Maple Grove are relatively modest in size and may be unlikely to substantially increase the level of Twin Cities-wide hospital market concentration." (Minnesota Hospital Public Interest Review-Tri-Care, page 36). The health economist retained by North supports that minimal impact theory: he calculated only a 0.5% increase in market concentration (50 points on the 10,000-point Herfindahl scale).

Within the small Northwest Metro market that will be served by the new Maple Grove hospital, allowing North Memorial to add to its market share would be the outcome that would produce the greatest increase in market concentration in this geographic market.

In short, as the MDH concluded, market concentration is not a material consideration in this debate.

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Myth: North Memorial has the largest existing market share in the service area of a new Maple Grove hospital.

Fact: 2003 discharge data from the Minnesota Hospital Association shows that more people from the proposed service area go to hospitals operated by Park Nicollet, Children's and Allina, than go to North Memorial (16,647 discharges (46.6%) from hospitals operated by Tri-Care partners versus 10,649 discharges (29.8%) from North Memorial).

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Myth: North Memorial is the hometown team.

Fact: Park Nicollet and Allina both already have clinics in Maple Grove, unlike either North Memorial or Fairview. The Park Nicollet Clinic is less than 1Č2 mile from the proposed hospital site and the Allina Clinic is 2.3 miles from the proposed site. Collectively, these two clinics served 27,484 patients from the service area in 2003.

According to national best practices, a hospital site should feature convenient access, free and ample parking and room for future expansion. In addition, the ideal environment for a hospital site should be relaxing, healing and user-friendly. The Tri-Care site integrates all of these elements.

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Myth: Both proposals include Level I trauma. Maple Grove needs a Level I trauma center.

Fact: Each proposal includes a full service emergency room - similar to those at Abbott Northwestern Hospital or Methodist Hospital - that is able to take care of the vast majority of emergency needs.

A Level I trauma center requires 24-hour, highly specialized staffing-there are only three such centers in the entire state (North Memorial, HCMC and Regions). No one is proposing a Level I trauma center in Maple Grove. Under both proposals, North Memorial's existing Level I facility will continue to be utilized to provide Level I trauma care for residents of the service area. Providing Level I trauma care is expensive and duplicative of existing services at both North Memorial and HCMC and virtually impossible to provide in a hospital with fewer than 300 beds.

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Myth: Each proposal offers similar behavioral health services.

Fact: The Maple Grove Tri-Care Partnership plans to develop behavioral health services that meet community needs. Through our partnership, we have more behavioral health clinicians, physicians and inpatient beds than either Fairview or North Memorial. Among the services we are planning to provide in Maple Grove are inpatient mental health care for children and adolescents, ages 6 -18, outpatient behavioral health services and chemical dependency services, for patients of all ages.

At a recent legislative hearing, North Memorial's CEO indicated that they offer inpatient "crisis" psychiatric care for older adolescents (ages 18-19) and adults only, not children or younger adolescents. They do not actively seek referrals, rather, they only admit those who present to their emergency department.

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Myth: North Memorial has more employees in the proposed service area of a new hospital.

Fact: Combined, members of the Tri-Care Partnership have nearly 3,000 employees living in the proposed service area of a new Maple Grove hospital. North Memorial's application says it has more than 1,700.

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Myth: Most residents prefer North Memorial.

Fact: Tri-Care was not offered as an option in the survey cited by North Memorial. Another recent public opinion survey that included the Tri-Care Partnership revealed that of those with a preference, fully 55% would have chosen the Tri-Care Partnership proposal versus 31% for North Memorial.

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Myth: If North Memorial-Fairview does not build a new hospital in Maple Grove, a hospital should not be built.

Fact: Northwest Metro Area residents strongly want a new hospital. In a recent public opinion survey, by a margin of 82%-13%, residents believe a new hospital is needed to serve their community. 93% of residents say that the new hospital should be constructed and open within five years; 47% say it needs to be open within two years.

In contrast, only 61% of residents had an opinion about who should build a new hospital. Building a hospital is more important to residents than who builds it.

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Myth: The Senate does not want a hospital in Maple Grove.

Fact: During the 2005 session, Senator Linda Berglin, a health policy leader in the Legislature, and two key Senate committees, the Health and Family Security Committee and the Health and Human Services Budget Committee, clearly indicated support for a new hospital in Maple Grove.

Specifically, Senator Berglin authored legislation last session to lift the hospital moratorium, and specify objective criteria and a thorough process for selecting among the competing hospital proposals.

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