Cooper County Memorial Hospital (“CCMH”), like many smaller hospitals across Missouri and the country, is proactively investigating an affiliation strategy with a larger healthcare organization. In order to position the hospital strategically, CCMH has contracted with BKD, LLP, one of the largest healthcare consulting firms in the nation, to assist in seeking out and evaluating potential partners. The decision to seek a partner has been an ongoing discussion with CCMH staff for the last several months. Staffing reductions are not anticipated as of result of this affiliation process.
Per Mike Conway, CCMH board chairman, “Maintaining and growing health care services in and around Cooper and Howard Counties, is of upmost importance. Declining reimbursements and declining inpatient admissions are making it difficult for many rural hospitals to maintain their independence. CCMH is being proactive in searching for an affiliation partner which will help ensure access to healthcare for many years to come for Cooper County.”
CCMH is following a systematic approach to seeking an affiliation partner with a like focus on quality care for the community. This process should provide the board with a range of affiliation alternatives to consider. Affiliation proposals from potential partners are due in late October, with the final evaluation of the proposals to occur in late November. The major hospital systems in and around the Columbia area have been contacted, along with select regional and national health care systems.
Allen Waldo, CCMH CEO, states, “This is an exciting time for CCMH. Affiliating with a strong partner should allow CCMH to bring the resources of a larger health system to our community and ensure long-term, outstanding health care stays right here at home. In the end, no matter what type of affiliation arrangement we reach, the partnership will be a win/win for health care in the community, our employees and our organization.”
As we move forward in this process, certainly one item we emphasize to our prospective partners is the commitment this community has to the hospital and maintaining health care services in the community. So it remains extremely important that the citizens of the community continue to utilize CCMH, whenever possible, as it relates to their health care needs.