The Good Samaritan Health System has announced plans to seek a strategic alliance to ensure continued access to high quality healthcare services for Lebanon County residents. Good Samaritan will invite potential partners to discuss a shared vision for how to best deliver healthcare in the Lebanon area.
“Our primary concern is access to high quality healthcare services for our community,” said John P. Welch, MD, chairman of the Board of Trustees for The Good Samaritan Hospital. “Good Samaritan’s Board of Trustees is seeking an alliance partner that has a similar commitment to mission, vision, high quality healthcare, patient safety and growth.”
“As residents of Lebanon County, we have been fortunate to have our own community hospital for more than 120 years,” said Good Samaritan President and CEO Robert J. Longo. “Good Samaritan has invested in many services, such as cardiothoracic care and wound care, that have given our community high-quality health services close to home. In recent years, we have focused on recruiting key physicians for cardiac, digestive health, general surgery, vascular, and other specialty areas. We have been successful to date, and we believe an alliance partner will help Good Samaritan to continue to meet community health needs in what is likely to be an increasingly challenging economic and regulatory environment.”
The healthcare field is undergoing rapid transformation. The science of healthcare is continually evolving, requiring significant investments in equipment, information technology and specialized personnel. At the same time, government payors and private insurers are restricting payments to health care providers. Health reform initiatives are moving patient care away from the traditional inpatient hospital setting to more outpatient and less costly venues. Health reform efforts will also require health systems to better manage population health and chronic diseases while assuming the financial risk for providing patient care. In response to these forces, more hospitals are seeking alliances that will strengthen their financial position and provide other resources necessary to meet these challenges.
“Potential partners will be invited to offer ideas about different alliance options,” Dr. Welch said. “While we are not requiring any particular business model, potential partners must propose options that fit our needs and those of our community.”
Lebanon County residents select Good Samaritan for their healthcare needs more than any other hospital in the region. The hospital delivered more than $20 million in charitable and uncompensated care during fiscal year 2012. As an organization, Good Samaritan is also the largest non-government employer in the county, provides many free health screenings, and sponsors many community organizations. “The trustees understand that Good Samaritan is a community asset that must be protected under an effective alliance agreement,” Longo said.
The selection of an alliance partner is expected to take several months to complete. As a first step, the health system will contact potential partners to gauge their interest in forming an alliance. Interested parties will be invited to prepare proposals that provide details regarding an alliance arrangement. Good Samaritan anticipates receiving a number of positive responses due to the system’s location, patient base, comparatively low cost structure, and its strong patient care quality and safety profile. Assuming that a suitable alliance partner is found, the Board of Trustees will announce the selection of the alliance partner candidate later in the year. This announcement would be followed by additional months of detailed discussions before a final agreement is reached. All discussions with potential partners will remain confidential until an alliance partner is selected.
“It’s important to note that the Board of Trustees has decided to explore an alliance that will benefit our community,” Dr. Welch said. “If the trustees determine that a viable partnership agreement has been made that meets our goals, the Board of Trustees will then consider moving forward into formal contractual negotiations. If and when that occurs, we will then announce our decision to our employees, physician partners, and the community.”
About Good Samaritan Health System
Since 1889, the Good Samaritan Health System (www.gshleb.org) has served the health care needs of Lebanon County. The Good Samaritan Hospital is a modern, fully-equipped, fully-accredited 172-bed acute care facility that offers complete inpatient and outpatient care, as well as an inpatient rehabilitation program. The Good Samaritan Health System also provides services at many other sites located throughout Lebanon County.