Source: The News-Enterprise
ISSUE: Medicine is big business with big challenges
OUR VIEW: Future partnerships critical to health
Hardin Memorial Health is big business.
The medical group operating the local hospital and nearly 50 other health care facilities in its 10-county service area is committed to improving quality, increasing patient services and meeting customer needs. All of these worthwhile goals come at a price.
That was evident at its most recent board of trustees meeting when approval was granted for:
Upgrading the Outpatient Surgery Center and refitting space at Surgical Center of Elizabethtown to offer more operating space plus replacing sterilization equipment. Anticipated cost: $3.27 million.
Relocating and expanding E-town Orthopedics to the Ring Road Medical Plaza. Anticipated cost: $439,288.
Enlarging and relocating the internal medicine and pediatrics operation in northern Hardin County into leased space being renovated off Joe Prather Highway. Anticipated cost: $625,586.
Upgrading the laboratory information system to replace outdated computer software no longer supported by the vendor.Anticipated cost: $321,639.
Purchase of a state-of-the-art digital radiography machine to be dedicated for emergency department use. Anticipated cost: $263,016, plus related construction renovations estimated at $110,000.
That’s capital spending just a little shy of $5 million in addition to the emergency department expansion underway and the relatively new addition of two floors of private suites for hospital patients.
HMH administrators and trustees say these January decisions are only a fraction of the iceberg of needs, including massive technological upgrades.
The scope is well beyond comprehension of the average person receiving care from an HMH provider.
But it serves to clearly illustrate why the hospital board initiated its search for strategic partners.
After a 20-year relationship with Baptist Health, which provides administrative leadership and other guidance, HMH is looking at a much broader range of relationships, which includes inquiries about health care companies with an interest in purchasing the hospital and its medical group.
Financially, HMH is bargaining from a position of strength. But the ever-changing and ever-more-expensive health care industry increasingly leaves a standalone, county-owned operation without the resources to thrive.
Finding the right partner is critical to charting the continued course for growth and excellence at HMH.