Memorial Health to create partnership with Novant Health

Memorial Health to create partnership with Novant Health

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Memorial Health setting the record straight, explaining that they are not for sale or being taken over.

This comes after rumors started spreading when the non-profit hospital began negotiating a contract with another non-profit called Novant Health, but in fact it's for a partnership.

Officials tell WTOC they are actually forming a partnership, something that's becoming very common because the Affordable Care Act is making business very difficult for hospitals.

"Let me be clear, it's not a takeover. It's two organizations coming together with a shared mission and a compatible culture," said Memorial Health CEO Maggie Gill.

Gill explains partnerships are trending among hospitals around the country including big name hospitals like Piedmont and Wellstar in Atlanta.  And it's just another example of how they are adjusting to the Affordable Care Act.

"It has gotten expensive. It has gotten difficult and we are taking a proactive approach," said Gill.

Remember, the federal government cut charity care funding to hospitals because everyone is now supposed to be covered, but that's still not the case. So hospitals like Memorial have to foot the bill while adjusting to the rise of overall healthcare costs.

"It's not a surprise to anyone. We have forecasted that this would occur," said Gill.

Now they want to partner with Novant Heath - a nonprofit out of North Carolina. This means CEO Maggie Gill and the Memorial Health board will remain in place and govern Memorial at the local level, but they will also work and make decisions with top officials at Novant Health.

She says it's a win-win because it shouldn't impact jobs and the hospital will now have more financial support to stay on the cutting edge of the industry.

"We are controlling our own destiny and we are proud to do so, proud to be able to continue to serve the community the way we have and look forward to be able to expand those services in the future. We are fortunate we have a partner in Novant, who shares that vision and wants to be a part of the community," said Gill.

This isn't a done deal yet, they are still sharing the details with their stakeholders and it will go to Attorney General Sam Olens who will make the final approval.

WTOC will continue to follow this and keep you updated.

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