CONWAY, Ark. (AP) — The board of Conway Regional Medical Center is seeking a partner for the hospital as a way of providing financial stability and expanded services as health care systems are changing nationwide.
The independent community hospital said Thursday many other providers in similar situations are also looking for health systems to merge with as a way to bring in more people with expertise and provide a broader range of patient services, The Log Cabin Democrat (http://is.gd/GRsZ96) reported.
Board members said the federal health care overhaul has brought about the need for the hospital to adapt.
“As you look to the future, the way we’re going to be paid is different than how we’re paid now,” Conway Regional board chairman Dr. Bart Throneberry said.
There will be major changes to Medicare billing, which will result in reduced payments to the hospital, and billing will be centered on treatment of an illness as a whole, rather than for each procedure.
“As we navigate that, taking on that risk, we may need people to evaluate that and help us with that,” Conway Regional CEO Jim Lambert said.
Lambert said health care providers are experimenting with different payment systems to accommodate the changes.
Some organizations “both regionally and nationally” have shown some interest in a working relationship with Conway Regional, Lambert said, but he declined identify them to the newspaper or describe the prospective relationships.
Conway Regional’s search for a partner was announced about two weeks after Baptist Health Systems declared its intention to expand from Little Rock into Faulkner County. Baptist Health has ties to a piece of land in Conway but hasn’t made public its plans for the property.
Lambert said Conway Regional is “in a strong financial position, which is when you want to seek a partnership.”
“We’ve got a great presence in the market with great cardiovascular and orthopedic capabilities and we have a lot to offer to anybody who’s looking at this market and could be a great partner as this goes forward,” he said.
Lambert said hospital officials decided months ago to try to seek a partnership.
“The challenges in health care are enough in and of themselves right now without a competitive threat,” Lambert said.
Information from: Log Cabin Democrat, http://www.thecabin.net