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Ochsner to operate Hancock Medical Center long term

Hancock Medical Center in Bay Saint Louis, Miss., has entered a long-term, capital lease agreement with New Orleans-based Ochsner Health System.

Under the 25-year lease agreement, which was approved by Hancock County Board of Supervisors, Ochsner will operate HMC and lease the medical center from the county.

The agreement expands a strategic partnership created four years ago in which Ochsner manages HMC. Since creation of the strategic partnership, HMC has seen multiple benefits. These include positive operational cash flow for the first time in nearly 12 years as well as "significant and sustained" quality improvements and higher patient experience scores at Hancock facilities, according to both organizations.

The new agreement includes a purchase option and a commitment from Ochsner to invest $33.75 million in lease payments and capital investments into Hancock County and HMC, hospital officials said in a news release. Ochsner has also agreed to work toward physician recruitment and expanding clinical services.

Hospital officials said Ochsner's initial actions will include installing and implementing Epic EHR software as well as expanding digital health offerings to HMC patients.

As part of the new agreement, HMC will also be renamed Ochsner Hancock Medical Center, and an advisory board, including members from the county, will be established to assist with managing the facility.

"Our board feels confident that Ochsner Health System will continue to lead Hancock Medical Center in the right direction and position the hospital for success in the new value-based healthcare environment," said Blaine LaFontaine, president of Hancock County Board of Supervisors. "Ochsner has been a proven partner since 2013. This agreement best assures that the hospital will continue to provide quality services and care for residents needing healthcare, and it provides the best level of assurance to doctors and employees of the facility to continue to work and provide services to our community."

 

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