The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

June 19, 2013

Nash Health Care seeking expanded affiliates

BY JOHN H. WALKER
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER

ROCKY MOUNT — ROCKY MOUNT — The Board of Commissioners of Nash Health Care has voted to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to five, pre-selected regional tertiary hospital systems for evaluation of an expanded affiliation relationship.

Nash Health Care operates a number of facilities, including five hospitals totaling 403 beds — Nash General Hospital, Nash Day Hospital, the Bryant T. Aldridge Rehabilitation Center, Community Hospital and Coastal Plain Hospital.

According to a press release, the decision to pursue issuance of the RFP was based on analysis and research conducted by hospital leadership over the course of the past several years on the merits of an expanded affiliation strategy.

An affiliation relationship would consist of a contractual agreement for Nash Health Care Systems to acquire a specified set of management and operational resources from a tertiary hospital system partner. According to the release, the agreement would not entail purchase of Nash Health Care Systems assets, nor would it entail Nash Health Care Systems relinquishing local control and governance.

The expanded affiliation agreement would provide a broader scope of resources to benefit area patients in many vital areas. Including:

• Continued expansion of locally available patient care service.

• Measured improvements in patient care quality

• Improvement in patient satisfaction scores

• Lowering the costs of operations

• Improving the revenue cycle to the hospital for patient services provided

• Recruitment of additional highly trained and skilled physicians.

Among other tertiary relationships, Nash Health Care Systems currently partners with Vidant Health for cardiovascular services, Duke Medicine for neonatology and UNC Health Care for oncology services.

In discussions relative to issuance of the RFP, hospital leadership and the Board of Commissioners of Nash Health Care Systems confirmed their aversion to another hospital system acquiring ownership, governance and control of Nash Health Care Systems.

“We agreed that if any of the invited health care systems responds that acquisition of NHCS is their only form of consideration for affiliation, that the respondent health system will be excluded from further consideration” said NHCS Board Chairman Vincent C. Andracchio, II.

RFPs were sent to Duke Medicine, Vidant, UNC Virginia-based Sentara and Charlotte-based Carolinas Healthcare.