COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – The Columbus Regional Health Board of Directors is exploring the possibilities of affiliating with a strategic partner.
The goal of the partnership would be to provide Columbus Regional and its patients greater access to clinically-integrated physician networks, access to more specialty services and investment in advanced technology and equipment.
"Health care organizations across the nation are focused on enhancing the care experience for patients, lowering costs, and improving the health of populations of patients. We're excited about the future for Columbus Regional Health and the added potential that a well-established strategic partner could bring to our community and our patients," said Board chair Warren Steele.
The Board heard a presentation by its Long Range Planning Committee and agreed with the proposal of to study a potential partnership. According to president and CEO Scott Hill, Columbus Regional Health has already been approached by other health systems, inquiring about interest in establishing a formal business relationship.
"Our Board has endorsed this move for all the right reasons – thanks to the hard work and dedicated efforts of our employees, physicians and leaders, we're coming off a strong fiscal year of positive operating margins, we've streamlined our support services and delivery systems and we've targeted our patient experience scores for even greater improvement - so we're in a good place right now," Hill said.
Over the last 12 months in Georgia alone, eight hospitals have entered into some form of business relationship with other healthcare systems. Some of these moves were driven by financial needs, but many others, like the one Columbus Regional Health is considering, were motivated by the clinical synergy and patient benefits that resulted from the expanded relationship.
"At this point in time the study is just getting started. No decision has been made to partner with anyone, and we are on the front end of this process. We are committed to being transparent with the community, our employees, our medical staffs, and key stakeholders as we move forward," Hill stated.
According to Hill, if the study indicates that a strategic partnership would provide a healthcare benefit to the community and to Columbus Regional Health.
Columbus Regional Health has won over 30 national and industry quality and patient safety awards in 2015. The organization was recently recognized by Forbes Magazine as being the 14th best mid-sized employer in the U.S.