Washington, D.C., partner Rob McCann recently finalized two deals with firm client Billings Clinic, a community-owned integrated health care system in Billings, Montana, as it continues to expand its efforts to provide quality health care to rural communities.

Earlier this week, Billings announced a partnership agreement with Glendive Medical Center, a hospital and extended care facility that serves eastern Montana and western North Dakota.

Under terms of the affiliation agreement, Billings Clinic will assume a minority position on the Glendive Board of Directors and provide management services for the Medical Center. In this role, the Clinic will assist with recruiting additional physicians to expand access and clinical services for Glendive region, as well as assist in recruiting a Chief Executive Officer for Glendive.

Last month, Rob counseled Billings as it closed a joint venture with RegionalCare Hospital Partners, a private equity-funded for-profit health care organization in Brentwood, Tennessee. The joint venture combines the clinical expertise and regional brand name of Billings Clinic with the management systems and capital resources of RegionalCare for the purpose of acquiring and operating small rural hospitals in the Mountain States region. The RegionalCare partnership will allow Billings Clinic to keep its non-for-profit status and current governance structure, but also offers potential partners expanded clinical services; access to physician integration, support, and recruitment; clinical protocols; and quality improvement systems. It is anticipated that the partnership will be an attractive option to many hospitals that are struggling to make competitive investments in the current health reform environment.

Billings Clinic has partnerships with nine other hospitals and multiple branch and outreach clinics serving patients in Montana, Wyoming and the western Dakotas. It is rated by Truven Health Analytics as one of the top 100 hospitals in the country. It’s CEO, Dr. Nicholas Wolter, is a former member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and is ranked by Modern Healthcare magazine as one of the 50 most influential physician executives in the country.

The Drinker Biddle Health Care team has worked with Billings Clinic on many of its affiliations and strategic partnerships, and, over the past five years, has assisted the Clinic with the issuance and sale of $200 million of tax exempt bond financing.