A new website dedicated to informing hospital employees, physicians, volunteers and the community about the proposed affiliation between Mercy in Hot Springs(formerly St. Joseph’s Mercy Health System) and National Park Medical Centerwas launched today as an online resource where anyone can learn more and ask questions about the opportunity the two organizations are exploring.
“When we announced our discussions to affiliate two weeks ago, it naturally raised a lot of questions from those who care about healthcare in the Hot Springs community,” said Lynn Britton, Mercy President and CEO. “These discussions are truly critical to advancing healthcare in Hot Springs for years to come, but any change like this is complicated and understandably met with questions and concerns. We are absolutely committed to being as transparent as possible through this next phase of discussions, and this website is just one facet of that promise.”
The website contains general information about each organization and the local hospitals, as well as the reasoning for pursuing this change in healthcare delivery and frequently asked questions. The website invites the public to sign up to receive weekly updates or to submit questions or rumors to be addressed. It will be updated continuously over the coming weeks.
Discussions to Affiliate
On April 20, Mercy and Capella signed an Agreement in Principle that contemplates transferring ownership of Mercy in Hot Springs to Capella and allows the two organizations to engage in exclusive negotiations toward a definitive agreement.
These discussions were prompted by the need to better serve the region and the challenges all hospitals are facing today, including:
Today, a significant number of Hot Springs patients choose to seek healthcare in Little Rock, located within a 45 minute drive to the southwest.
“There is not a single hospital across the nation that is exempt from the pressures of today’s changing environment,” said Dan Slipkovich, Capella CEO. “We have a unique opportunity here in Hot Springs to build on the foundation of service both of these hospitals have established and to become a more competitive and efficient healthcare delivery system. Ultimately, we want people throughout the region we serve to choose Hot Springs for their healthcare needs.”
These discussions reflect a trend across the country of hospitals combining with other providers. In fact, last year alone, there were 100 such agreements reached.
“Given our financial pressures today, we can’t risk staying as we are, and this affiliation just makes sense. Our vision is to find the best solution for this community that protects the great care already provided here, continues the charitable mission of Mercy, and enhances the quality and efficiency of healthcare in Hot Springs,” said Britton.
“Given the importance of getting this right, we are spending a great deal of time over the next several weeks engaging physicians, employees and community leaders to help us shape what’s best for the region and to build on the work already underway,” said Slipkovich.
Mercy is the eighth largest Catholic healthcare system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,600 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit www.mercy.net.
About Capella Healthcare
Capella Healthcare partners with communities to build strong local healthcare systems that are known for quality patient care. Based in Franklin, Tenn., Capella owns and/or operates 13 general acute-care hospitals in seven states. With the philosophy that all healthcare is local, Capella collaborates with each hospital’s medical staff, board and community leadership to take care to the next level. The company has access to significant leadership and financial resources, investing in its family of hospitals to strengthen and expand services and facilities. For more information, visit the website, www.CapellaHealthcare.com
About Mercy in Hot Springs (formerly St. Joseph’s Mercy Health System)
Mercy in Hot Springs includes a 282-bed acute care hospital, the only Level II trauma center in Southwest Arkansas, an 80-physician clinic organization, a dedicated cancer center, the region’s only da Vinci Surgical system, and a newly established telestroke program.Mercy Hospital Hot Springs received both the 2010 and 2011 Innovator Award from the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care.
About National Park Medical Center
National Park Medical Center is a 166-bed, acute-care facility which has provided care to the region since 1954. The hospital’s Adult Inpatient Rehab department has earned five consecutive accreditations from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, one of only 6 such programs in Arkansas to achieve this accreditation.