Shared-services agreement hopes to save money

Last updated: March 04. 2014 9:37AM - 12827 Views
By Anthony Gonzalez agonzalez@civitasmedia.com

Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital announced a partnership with health care giant Novant Health of Winston-Salem.
Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital announced a partnership with health care giant Novant Health of Winston-Salem.
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Today, Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital (HCMH) announced a partnership agreement with health care giant Novant Health.

HCMH officials said the “shared-services” agreement will save money and allow the hospital to continue to provide quality health care, while retaining local management and governance.

“The hospital’s Board of Trustees undertook an extensive evaluation to identify a respected, vibrant health care system with which we could partner to enhance the value of care we provide to our community. Novant Health’s expertise and customizable approach to community hospital partnerships made them an excellent choice,” said Robert H. Midkiff, chairman of the Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees.

Paul Hammes, CEO of Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, added, “Hugh Chatham has a very proud tradition of providing excellent, high quality care to our patients. We believe that this partnership with Novant will only advance our goals to make care more accessible, affordable and of even greater quality.”

The partnership is not a merger, no changes are expected to HCMH Board of Trustees, and HCMH expect no layoffs in relation to the partnership, according to Hammes.

“This partnership will by and large be transparent to patients and employees. This partnership has no implications according to our internal structure (on employee retention or their longevity),” said Hammes.

Under the agreement, HCMH and Novant will work together in key areas including supply chain, strategic planning and corporate resources. By combining forces, the two organizations expect to optimize the supply chain and bring additional value to the community hospital.

According to Hammes, through the agreement, each health system retains its independence, but can take advantage of the sharing of best practices information, information technology infrastructure, and most commonly, the increased purchasing power that comes through the collaboration.

Novant, based in Winston-Salem, operates Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem and medical centers in Kernersville, Clemmons and Thomasville. It owns and manages hospitals and similar partnerships in a four-state area. The network consists of more than 1,100 physicians and 24,000 employees at more than 450 locations including 14 medical centers, three hospitals, and hundreds of outpatient facilities and physician clinics.

Before arrival to HCMH, Hammes served as senior vice president and COO of Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

“The selection of Novant as our preferred potential partner preceded my arrival,” said Hammes.

Novant was not the only health care giant considered for partnership. “Other systems were considered of size and scale, but did not offer the customization to our unique needs,” said Hammes.

HCMH will pay a “shared services participation fee” to Novant. The fee amount is proprietary and was not disclosed.

Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, founded in 1931, is a private not-for-profit hospital with 81 acute care beds, 127 long term care beds, and twelve inpatient rehab beds. The hospital also owns and operates Yadkin Valley Home Health, Parkwood Place retirement community, and 14 medical practices throughout the tri-county area.

Anthony Gonzalez may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @newsgonz.

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