Hospital Rivals Explore Benefits of Partnership

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012 12:00 am  

Banko said that by working together, both sides can improve access to care and quality and slash the duplication of services.


Women’s Health Issues

The first hurdle UAMS and St. Vincent have to cross is paying for the consultant, Deloitte LLP of New York, to examine areas where the two could partner. A contract with Deloitte would cost at least $1 million, and each side would pay half. UAMS needs approval to spend the money from the Arkansas Legislative Council, which is expected to vote on the measure on Wednesday.

If approved, the first areas of potential cooperation to be examined are cardiovascular, orthopedic and cancer treatment services, Rahn said.

In March, UAMS ended its long relationship with Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute Inc., which provided radiation therapy treatments, after CARTI announced it was building a cancer treatment facility and had bought the for-profit Little Rock Hematology Oncology group.

Still, “it’s not our intent to merge” with St. Vincent, he said.

Rahn said he hoped Deloitte could issue a report by the end of the year on areas that are ripe for partnerships. Then discussions would turn to exactly how an arrangement would work, Rahn said. “That’s something that we just have to explore.”

One area that is off the table is women’s health services, he said.

“Because of our public purpose and ethical and religious directives that they have and adhere to and respect, we’re going to keep those separate,” Rahn said.

In December, Catholic Health Initia-tives was close to merging its CHI Ken-tucky Inc. with the public University of Louisville Hospital and Jewish Hospital Healthcare Services Inc. of Louisville, when the governor stopped the deal.

One of the issues raised was how women’s services, including the delivery of contraceptives, would be handled under CHI.



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