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Howard officials OK hospital merger with Community

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The merger of Kokomo’s Howard Regional Health System into Indianapolis-based Community Health Network received final approval Tuesday night when the Howard County Board of Commissioners and County Council voted unanimously for the affiliation of the hospitals.

The integration will take effect July 1, when the Kokomo hospital will change its name to Community Howard Regional Health, according to Community spokeswoman Lynda de Widt.

The two hospital systems signed a letter of intent to merge back in January, less than four months after Howard Regional broke off a merger deal with Indiana University Health.

Howard and Community officials said at that time the decision was driven by “dramatic changes” spurred by the 2010 federal health reform law.

The letter of intent called for Howard Regional to join its finances with Community’s, yet retain a local board with at least two-thirds of its members living in Howard or contiguous counties.

Indianapolis-based Community Health has similar affiliations with Community Hospital of Anderson and with Westview Hospital in Indianapolis.

A year ago, Howard Regional announced that it would merge with Indianapolis-based IU Health, in large part because deteriorating employment in the Kokomo area had pinched the hospital’s operating margins. But, in October, the two hospitals called off that deal—although they promised to continue to work together.

Indianapolis-based hospitals—including Community, IU Health and St. Vincent Health—have been active in acquiring county-owned hospitals throughout Indiana. These smaller hospitals say they need help recruiting physicians, particularly specialists, as well as help in bearing the costs of sophisticated electronic medical record systems, which the federal government is now effectively mandating.

The Indianapolis hospitals also are interested in securing a steady stream of patients to support their flagship campuses, as well as earning profits at outlying hospitals.

 

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  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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