Kalispell Regional, North Valley to affiliate: 6 things to know

Kelly Gooch - Print  | 

Kalispell (Mont.) Regional Healthcare and Whitefish, Mont.-based North Valley Hospital have agreed to move forward with an affiliation agreement that officials say will enhance the delivery of healthcare in the Flathead Valley and Northwest Montana.

Here are six things to know about the agreement.

1. The boards of both entities voted in favor of a collaborative affiliation relationship after more than two years of discussing whether such a partnership would positively impact access, quality and efficiency of care.

2. Under the agreement, North Valley will maintain its name, mission, charitable purposes, services, employees and tax exempt status, and both hospitals will keep their own boards.

3. Additionally, medical records will be formatted to be shared between the two hospitals, and the agreement will allow the hospitals to share services and employees across all facilities, according to a Daily Inter Lake report. Kalispell Regional Healthcare CEO Velinda Stevens said in the report both hospitals already share about 70 percent of services and staff, such as physicians that work in both facilities.

4. Steve Stahlberg, chairman of the North Valley Hospital Board of Directors, said in a news release that the board believes the affiliation "is in the best interest of our community, our hospital and Kalispell Regional Healthcare."

He added, "Based on the feedback we received from employees, medical staff and the communities we serve, we attempted to develop an affiliation structure that preserved key aspects of North Valley Hospital that were identified as important to each group. The affiliation proposal does provide for us to become part of an outstanding healthcare system that is integrated both clinically and financially."

5. Representatives from North Valley Hospital and Kalispell Regional Healthcare have signed a non-binding memorandum of intent, beginning the process of finalizing details of the affiliation plan.

6. Both entities hope to have the affiliation in place by Jan. 1, 2016.

 

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