Memorial Health discusses plan after failed partnership

Memorial Health discusses plan after failed partnership

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Memorial Health's Board of Directors is discussing a short term and long term plan for the hospital.

This comes just months after a multimillion dollar partnership with Novant Health failed. CEO Maggie Gill sent a memo on Thursday to all Memorial Health employees explaining how this has forced the hospital to change their 18-month plan, looking at stand alone initiatives that will enhance operating performance.

Right now officials are discussing this specific plan at a public meeting. They still plan to pursue another partnership.

Below is the email Gill sent to all Memorial Health employees:

Dear Team,

It's hard to believe, but we are already into the 3rd quarter of the year. Thus far, the events of 2016 have been unexpected and challenging, but our overall results are holding steady… 

System Status Check

·         From a clinical perspective, Joint Commission readiness is in high gear; we anticipate a late summer visit.  I am confident our Team's efforts will result in a successful survey.

·         From a growth perspective, patient volumes in the hospital and the physician practices continue to increase and are up significantly from last year.

·         From a payor perspective, uncompensated care is increasing as a result of more high deductible insurance plans; health exchange plan changes, such the United Healthcare, exiting that market; federal funding cuts from the Affordable Care Act and an increase in crime.

·         From a financial performance perspective, Memorial is tracking to budget through June 30thwith a year-to-date net loss[1] of ($5.9 million) and positive cash flow/EBITDA of $8 million. 

·         From a Team Member engagement perspective, we have launched new CEO communication methods to keep our Team up-to-date. We kicked this off yesterday with a July CEO/Team Member meeting; these meetings will be held monthly. We will also be adding new Team Member events beginning in the late summer, so we can share in some fun together.

·        From an education perspective, we continue to strengthen our medical education program and in July were notified by the ACGME of continued institutional accreditation and commendation for substantial compliance.

·         From a strategic perspective, the Memorial board of directors is evaluating a renewed partnership process.

Turning the Page

As we move into the third quarter and consider how the events of the past few months have impacted partnership plans, we must accept that the organization's direction as changed…at least for now. Therefore, it is appropriate for management's focus to shift. Rather than planning for partnership expansion and integration activities, we need to adopt stand-alone initiatives that will enhance our operating performance and promote Memorial's important contribution to our community. 

To that end, management has developed an action plan to keep us focused on patient care, quality and operational efficiency. This plan was developed based on data analysis, feedback from physicians, Team Leaders as well as peer benchmarks.  The good news is that our entire Team can get involved in action plans that will positively impact the organization.  However, we recognize that there are trade-offs in the interim, including limited funds available for capital spending, equipment and salary increases.  Because our long term plans have changed, raises will be re-evaluated at the end of the year.  

Pathway to Excellence

Our $20 million dollar management action plan is designed to achieve results over the next 6-18 months and prepare for future strategic opportunities.

Short term initiatives include drugs cost controls; expense management; revenue cycle process changes to respond to the changing insurance environment; improved clinical documentation and Epic optimization.

Mid-term initiatives include a very promising operational improvement engagement withPremier[2].  This engagement will provide Memorial with data, tools and resources to focus in the following areas,

·         Clinical care management;

·         Resource utilization management;

·         Quality cycle management;

·         Reduce the cost of purchased services; 

·         Oncology /specialty drugs;

·         Physician network management.

We will improve quality by focusing on care delivery variation, duplicate testing, hand-offs and causes of patient recidivism.  We will reduce complications and hospital infections.  We will proactively evaluate policies and practices for specialty drug use - which is a national issue. We will take a system-wide view on standardization of purchased services.  We will evaluate our physician workforce plan and network needs. These initiatives will be led by our Team, with Premier resources, and physician champions

Be Patient; Stay Positive!

Team, I remain positive about our future! We still believe that the future of healthcare is to be part of a larger and more integrated world, to grow and diversify, to share ideas and best practices with like-minded professionals.   We still believe we can find a way to expand and be the regional integrated health system we are poised to be.  We still believe that in the end, what is right for Memorial will prevail.

As I said back in early 2011, WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER! Let's regroup and finish 2016 strong.

Thank you for all you do,


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