Brentwood, Tennessee-based RegionalCare Hospital Partners announced another hospital joint venture this week — this time with Billings Clinic, a community-owned healthcare organization in Billings, Montana. The new joint venture, which was announced on May 14, 2013, will provide opportunities for other area healthcare organizations to affiliate with the new joint venture entity, Billings Clinic RegionalCare, LLC. These new affiliations will be in addition to the numerous partnerships the Billings Clinic already has in place with other regional providers. The joint venture will offer potential partners expanded clinical services, access to physician integration, physician recruitment support and access to capital. The ownership and governance of the Billings Clinic has remained unchanged.

This new partnership follows closely on the heels of RegionalCare’s transaction with Sierra Vista Regional Health Center in Sierra Vista, Arizona, which was effective May 1, 2013. With the Vista transaction, RegionalCare entered into a long-term hospital lease and agreed to construct a new, one-hundred-bed hospital, which is expected to open in 2015. RegionalCare is also providing $11 million for near-term capital improvements, like adding cardiac catheterization services, and $18 million over seven years to recruit at least 25 new physicians to the region.

According to RegionalCare, the company’s philosophy is to partner “with regionally focused community hospitals in non-urban markets across the country,” including, for example, Ottumwa, Iowa; Sharon, Connecticut; Muscle Shoals, Alabama; and Wilmington, Ohio. Somewhat unique to RegionalCare, all its hospitals are governed by boards comprised entirely of local community leaders and physicians.