Carthage And Watertown Hospitals Announce Affiliation Plans
Carthage Area Hospital and Samaritan Medical Center have announced plans to form an affiliation.
Under the plan, Carthage Area Hospital (CAH) will apply to become a "Critical Access Hospital," according to a news release.
Critical Access Hospitals are described as hospitals which are certified to receive "cost-based reimbursement" from the federal government's Medicare program.
Leadership and boards of both hospitals, as well as representatives from the New York State Department of Health, have been in discussions about how Samaritan Medical Center (SMC) could assist CAH to stabilize its finances, as well as to create a collaborative partnership to enhance the healthcare delivery system for the region.
"This is an affiliation. It's not a merger. It's not a takeover. It's an affiliation," said Natalie Burnham, CHA marketing director.
According to SMC spokeswoman Kirsta Kittle, Samaritan will switch from a "passive parent" model to an "active parent" role.
"It would be a board that oversees all of the Samaritan affiliates, whether it be Samaritan Medical Center, Samaritan Keep Home," said Kittle.
The news comes in the wake of CAH's announcement in January that it planned to lay off 73 people and consolidate its critical care unit and the medical, surgical, pediatric unit from 30 to 10 beds.
Officials later revised the number of layoffs, saying 28 people were retained through reoganization.
That brought the number of layoffs to 44.
According to a news release from the hospitals, the talks have resulted in memorandum of mnderstanding, which establishes a contractual relationship between the two organizations that will ultimately result in a formal affiliation.
Under the deal, Ameer will step down as Carthage Area Hospital's CEO to serve as a consultant, effective Monday.
The role of Carthage CEO will remain unfilled until the formal affiliation is finalized, according to the news release.
If Carthage becomes a Critical Access Hospital, it will join River Hospital in Alexandria Bay, Clifton-Fine Hospital in Star Lake and Gouverneur Hospital in having that designation.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014, Watertown, NY
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