GREENVILLE — Wayne HealthCare and Premier Health announced Friday the consideration of a new Joint Venture, subject to the approval of the Wayne Hospital Company, on March 23, 2017.
With this agreement, Wayne HealthCare develops an affiliate relationship with Premier Health, while still maintaining independent local control. This joint venture provides opportunities for the two to work more closely together in areas such as strategic development at the hospital and system level, possible group economies of scale in purchasing, along with education and training.
Future projects will include support from Premier Health for the Wayne HealthCare master facility plan that includes a three-story building to house a new obstetrical center, a wellness center, a 28 private bed telemetry inpatient unit, and a replacement for the Wayne Medical Building. This important addition will complete the hospital’s master facility plan.
Wayne Deschambeau, president and CEO of Wayne HealthCare, said Wayne has had a master facility plan since 2007, one which is looked at each year. He said the plan will be reevaluated this spring or summer.
“Assuming we would have that update and decide to turn it into a project, it would likely not get into the ground until at least 2018, and probably have a 14 to 16-month construction period,” he said.
“In a simple summary, our intention is to have all new private patient accommodations in all of our in-patient units,” he added.
Deschambeau said the obstetrics unit is “nice” but needs to be updated. The hospital’s emphasis on community wellness is the driving force for a wellness center. The vision for the Wayne Medical Building is to bring it into full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
“If you look at it, it looks pretty nice. But it is a pre-ADA building. For having a medical facility, it has some extreme shortcomings,” said Deschambeau, noting its limited wheelchair access to its entrance and bathrooms.
This further, long-term collaboration to enhance health care services is designed to improve hospital operational efficiency and help decrease the cost of care as well. Keeping the services close to home provides convenience to community members, reduces drive time, and increases access to the care they need in a familiar setting.
The joint venture will be structured in a seven-year contractual relationship. At the end of the contract term, Wayne HealthCare will have the right to request to continue the relationship without change, request a restructuring of the contract elements, or dissolve the joint venture. During the contract period, Premier will make a $13 million investment in Wayne HealthCare.
In return, Premier will be entitled to a one-third representation on the Wayne HealthCare Board. Wayne HealthCare will have two ex-officio non-voting seats on the Premier Board. In addition, Wayne HealthCare senior leadership and physicians will participate in applicable Premier leadership conferences and planning sessions.
“The idea is the opportunity to try this relationship. At the end of the seven-year period, we’re going to take a look at the whole thing and we have a bunch of different options, including joining Premier as a permanent partner, continue for another period of time, or we could go home and do things independently again,” Deschambeau explained.
“My hope is it becomes more permanent,” said Mary Boosalis, president of Premier Health. “Wayne and the [Wayne HealthCare] board are incredibly strong financially. They didn’t need to join someone from a financial perspective. That takes more foresight. They’re looking down the road, as I like to think we are.”
“The industry is consolidating. So the challenge is how do you leverage economies of scale, but maintain local access and governance. I think this is a really unique partnership, because it creates a ‘win-win’ on those parameters,” she added.
Wayne HealthCare and Premier Health share similar missions and visions to provide quality care and wellness close to home and to build healthier communities. The new Joint Venture reflects a strong and enduring commitment to make a positive difference for individuals and the community as a whole.
“We are proud to be working even more closely with everyone at Wayne HealthCare and the Greenville community,” said Boosalis. “We are committed to working together and learning from each other to provide more convenient and accessible care options close to home.”
“No matter what, we’re going to learn a lot from each other,” she added.
“Over the years our mission and vision have guided us and this new venture reflects well thought out steps for the future,” said Deschambeau. “We are excited to build upon a proven record of success with an organization that is committed to enhance healthcare right here in Greenville.”
This next step in a long standing collaborative relationship, builds upon several already successful endeavors including the Wayne Cancer Center, a tele-stroke program, and the Good Samaritan Health Center-Greenville.