In the Franconia Range of New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
Four small, rural hospitals in New Hampshire have agreed to form a nonprofit organization called North Country Healthcare. As independent community hospitals struggle to survive in an age of behemoth health systems, we can expect more of such organizations to be created in some regions.
Here are eight things to know about the partnership.
The hospitals are: Berlin-based Androscoggin Valley Hospital, Littleton (N.H.) Regional Healthcare, Colebrook-based Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital and Lancaster-based Weeks Medical Center.
Goals of North Country Healthcare include reducing patients’ drive time and to “drive costs out of the system,” reported the Manchester Union-Leader.
The group seeks to immediately boost the hospitals’ purchasing power through its size.
While the group expects that all its hospitals will offer the same “high standard of care, specialized services may be limited to one or two facilities,” reports the newspaper.
Each hospital is committed “to participate for three years, after which it may exercise an exit clause.”
“North Country Healthcare will have its own board of directors and both a CEO and CFO. Each hospital would also have its own on-site chief executive and retain existing boards of directors that would control their assets and endowments,” the Union Leader reported.
While each hospital will be represented on the North County Healthcare’s board,, but not every board member will have equal voting power.