Henry Medical Center (HMC) announced the selection of Piedmont Healthcare to be its health care partner. This decision was made today by the Hospital Authority of Henry County, the Henry Health Systems Board and the Henry Medical Center Board of Directors.
The selection comes after a nine-month structured and competitive process conducted by an Affiliation Steering Committee, consisting of members from all three hospital boards, medical staff leadership and hospital administration. The work done by the Affiliation Steering Committee has been extensive with detailed evaluation of both organizations after the field was narrowed from seven candidates to two finalists including extensive review of data and other information, multiple presentations and meetings, and site visits made to affiliated hospitals.
“We are very fortunate to have two outstanding organizations to choose between,” said Jeff Mills, Chairman of the Affiliation Steering Committee and Vice-Chairman of the Henry Medical Center Board of Directors. “It was a difficult decision, considering the excellent credentials both candidates presented. I am confident that the process we used to evaluate the candidates and make our decision was thorough, analytical, and based on what we believe to be in the best interests of Henry Medical Center and our community.”
According to Henry Medical Center President & CEO Charlie Scott, Piedmont Healthcare was selected based on its community hospital focus and experience; its demonstrated record of improving community hospitals in the areas of quality, patient and employee satisfaction, clinical program development, capital investment, and financial standing; its clear and close alignment with Henry Medical Center’s mission and culture; and its existing and proven clinical integration strategy.
The three boards also decided on a long-term lease as the structural model for the affiliation, as opposed to an outright sale. Although the details remain to be worked out, according to this model the hospital assets would continue to be owned by the Hospital Authority and leased to Henry Medical Center, which would become a subsidiary of Piedmont Healthcare who would have the responsibility and authority to operate the hospital. In addition, the final agreement will provide that the 1 mil tax levy will be eliminated and that Piedmont will be the guarantor on the existing bonds.
This partnership will allow the hospital to strengthen its ability to serve its community while meeting the many challenges happening in health care. According to Henry County Board of Commissioner Chair B.J. Mathis, “Henry County and Henry Medical Center are fortunate to be affiliating with such a quality health care organization. Our residents are key stakeholders in this affiliation and we look forward to seeing this progress and are pleased to welcome them to our community.”
“Today is a great day not only for quality health care for our citizens, but also for economic development in Henry County,” said Kay Pippin, Henry County Chamber of Commerce President. “A partnership between HMC and Piedmont will be highly beneficial for our citizens and businesses.”
The benefits of affiliation include, but are not limited to, assistance in enhancing quality of care and customer service, developing and expanding clinical services, achieving economies of scale and improved purchasing power, and access to capital and other valuable resources. “We are very excited about the prospect of a long-term partnership with Piedmont Healthcare and the many benefits it will bring to the delivery of healthcare in Henry County and the surrounding area,” said Steve Kay, Chairman of the Henry Medical Center Board of Directors and the Hospital Authority of Henry County. “We eagerly look forward to completing the transaction process and becoming a proud member of Piedmont Healthcare.”
The two health care organizations will promptly begin formal negotiations to develop a definitive agreement for the affiliation. The agreement will also need to be reviewed and approved by the State Attorney General’s office. These steps will likely take a number of months to accomplish.