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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. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

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