Richland Memorial Hospital, Carle explore integration to benefit patients
(Olney, Illinois) Richland Memorial Hospital (RMH) and The Carle Foundation are considering integration to add access to care in the region. The RMH Board of Directors signed a Letter of Intent May 31 to explore the possibility of bringing the organizations together to care for patients.
“Integration would mean that our organizations are aligned in missions, visions, values and strategic planning to best serve our patients,” said David Allen, Chief Executive Officer of Richland Memorial Hospital. “The potential is exciting, and if approved, will mean the ability to offer our community so much more than we could on our own as a stand-alone hospital,” Allen stated.
The proposal would bring Richland—a 135-bed hospital and associated healthcare services with more than 500 employees—into the health system as an independent unit of Carle.
The two have collaborated to serve patients with care coordination and entered a Clinical Affiliation agreement in 2014. RMH is part of Carle’s Rural Alliance for Exceptional Care, partnering with regional hospitals to address health needs and disparities.
As a tertiary care provider, Carle includes a 393-bed hospital, 429-physician group practice, Health Alliance Medical Plans and other healthcare entities including the engineering based Carle Illinois College of Medicine being developed with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It offers advanced clinical resources when patients need a level of care not available today at RMH.
“Closer connectivity with RMH would allow us to better address patient needs together and if highly specialized care is required, more seamless transfer of care can happen,” said James C. Leonard, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Carle Foundation. “When acute needs are addressed, patients can continue with the same quality of care close to home. This ability to maximize resources is especially important in a region that is federally designated as a professional shortage area.”
RMH would be the third hospital in the Carle system. Hoopeston, Illinois-based Hoopeston Regional Health Center joined Carle in 2012 and since then has worked to address health disparities through enhanced physician recruitment, information technology and other initiatives the hospital could not have done on its own.
“One of the most important components of a possible integration is the ability to have EPIC as our hospital information system. It is the industry standard, and without integration, we are unable to access this resource,” Allen explained.
“We believe that the level of care a person receives should not be limited by where they live,” said Stephanie Beever, RN, MS, Executive Vice President, System Chief Strategy Officer for Carle. “Patients now and in the future need and deserve this kind of collaboration for innovative care.”
“With the rapidly changing healthcare environment, we have to be ready to change with it to thrive. Hospitals and health systems across the nation are collaborating to meet the challenges,” said Allen. “Richland Memorial Hospital has been an essential part of our community for the past 63 years, and we are fortunate to have found a potential partner that aligns with us like Carle and is interested in helping us grow as part of a plan for expanding rural healthcare in this region,” Allen concluded.
In the coming months, RMH and Carle will work through details and address regulatory requirements. The organizations’ respective boards and the state of Illinois must approve integration. If approvals are met integration is expected to occur in 2017.
Regular updates will be provided for patients and the community. For more information visit richlandmemorial.com.
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Richland Memorial Hospital (RMH) is a not-for-profit facility located in Olney, Illinois. RMH currently serves the residents in portions of eight Southeastern Illinois counties, with a total population of about 60,000 individuals. For the past 63 years, RMH has been an essential part of the medical community with a mission of providing excellent healthcare, promoting wellness and educating the people it serves. The hospital is licensed at 135 beds and is accredited by the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP). RMH prides itself on delivering exceptional service as part of its culture and upholds the core values of caring, trust, respect, competence and communication as it provides quality healthcare for the community.
Based in Urbana, Ill., The Carle Foundation is the not-for-profit parent company of an integrated system of hospitals, a 429 physician group practice and health plan. Carle is consistently recognized for providing quality care to a population of 1.3 million people. The 393-bed Carle Foundation Hospital houses a Level I Trauma Center with Primary Stroke Center Designation and offers Level III perinatal services. Carle is ranked as a Best Hospital by U.S. News and World Report, by HealthGrades as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals™, is among the top nationally for critical care, stroke, pulmonary and gastrointestinal care, having achieved Magnet ® nursing status and Health Care’s Most Wired™. Health Alliance is a leading provider-driven health plan in the Midwest, serving more than 350,000 members in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Washington. Carle serves people through high-quality care, medical research and education.