Where we grow from here.
Hospitals naturally become integral to the fabric of a community. They serve as constant beacons of hope and help for their citizens, and catalysts for economic growth. It’s not often that a new one is opened, but when it happens, other growth is sure to follow.
The July 2014 commissioning of Trios Southridge Hospital is certainly no exception, the first new Tri-Cities hospital since 1952 when our original hospital opened its doors in downtown Kennewick. Our community waited a long time for the state-of-the-art new facility at Southridge, its completion marking both a culmination and a signal of more to come. There is good news and challenging news, but everywhere there is opportunity, and we’re doing our part to answer the calls.
More business is happening.
The Southridge area is on a significant growth trajectory well balanced between residential and commercial development—a little something for everyone. Already in place are hospital, high school, sports complex, carousel, banking, dining, veterinary services, senior housing, and more, with a hotel, additional restaurants, and other offerings in the works.
In mid-2015, Trios Health also opened the seven-level Care Center at Southridge—connected to the hospital—to further consolidate some of our extensive network of physicians and services to improve patient access and convenience. And hundreds of new homes are emerging nearby. The neighborhood is bustling, and we’re excited to watch it continue to develop.
More doctors are needed, and more are coming.
The projected national need for physicians is outpacing the ability to train and recruit them. In the Tri-Cities, we need plenty of doctors to choose from across a variety of specialties, and we need to focus on local recruitment and retention before the shortage occurs nationwide. This was a strong impetus for the launch of Trios Health’s medical residency programs in 2013, the first physician training programs in our community.
By training new doctors locally, we are giving ourselves a leg up on retaining them after residency. Trios internal medicine and family medicine residents are routinely seeing patients, developing relationships with our staff and community that will remain should they stay on board upon completion of their programs.
We have also continued to recruit providers to our growing employed medical group, now 100+ strong and one of the largest in eastern Washington. In the last six months of 2014 alone, Trios Medical Group welcomed more than a dozen new providers across a range of specialties including Anesthesiology, Cardiology, Family Medicine, Nephrology, Women’s Health, and more. That growth trajectory continues today.
We’re continuing to expand and evolve along with our community’s needs for convenient access to specialty care, as well as proactively to ensure we have plenty of provider choices for patients down the road.
More pressure is mounting in healthcare.
The national population is both growing and aging, further pressing an industry already struggling to simultaneously meet regulatory requirements and demand growth, while still making ends meet. These and other market realities are causing consolidation in the healthcare industry. Large systems are becoming larger, achieving growth through acquisitions—not always to the ultimate benefit of the consumer. So why is bigger not necessarily better in this case?
As the size gap widens between large corporate health systems and small community organizations, market power also shifts. For example, some larger players are using the promise of their inherently higher patient volumes to secure exclusivity with insurance companies in an attempt to capture market share. While it certainly benefits the involved parties, deals like this effectively limit consumer choices. The ultimate focus on caring for community health becomes secondary to market dominance.
Put simply, a competitive market is good for everyone, most of all consumers. When it comes to something as important as healthcare, we need to make sure we continuously strive for quality and value.
So how can we ensure continued access to quality, affordable medical services in the Tri-Cities amidst all of the pressure and flux in healthcare? By deliberately preserving choices for our community’s residents when it comes to their healthcare services. We are lucky to have multiple healthcare options in the Tri-Cities, and it is important that we work together to keep it that way.
Trios Health will continue to be part of this and other important conversations, constantly working to provide more and advocate for the community that founded and continues to support us.