New Hampshire hospitals form nonprofit organization: 8 things to know

The CEOs of four small, rural hospitals in New Hampshire have agreed to form a nonprofit organization called North Country Healthcare, according to a New Hampshire Union Leader report.

Here are eight things to know about the partnership.

1. The CEOs announcing the partnership are Russell Keene of Berlin-based Androscoggin Valley Hospital, Warren West of Littleton (N.H.) Regional Healthcare, Peter Gosline of Colebrook-based Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital and Scott Howe of Lancaster-based Weeks Medical Center.

2. Mr. Gosline said one goal of North Country Healthcare is to reduce patients' drive time, according to the report. Additionally, Mr. West added, another goal is to "drive costs out of the system."

3. Mr. West said among the immediate benefits of affiliation will be increased purchasing power, and, long-term benefits include the possibility of breaking even financially, if not doing better, according to the report.

4. Mr. West added that while the expectation is that all the hospitals will offer the same high standard of care, specialized services may be limited to one or two facilities. 

5. Under the affiliation agreement, each hospital is committed to participate for three years, after which it may exercise an exit clause.

6. North Country Healthcare will have its own board of directors and both a CEO and CFO. Each hospital would also have its own on-site chief executive and retain existing boards of directors that would control their assets and endowments.

7. Each of the hospitals will be represented on the North County Healthcare's board of directors, but not every board member will have equal voting power.

8. The pact must still be reviewed by the New Hampshire Attorney General's Charitable Trusts Division. Once reviewed by the division, the pact is slated to be in place in early 2016.The review process also includes public information meetings, whose dates and locations have yet to be set.


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