(From release) Huntsville Hospital and Capella Healthcare of Franklin, Tennessee, jointly announced today that Huntsville Hospital has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Parkway Medical Center of Decatur from Capella. Dan Slipkovich, Capella Healthcare CEO, and David Spillers, Huntsville Hospital CEO, said the deal is expected to be finalized before year’s end and will be effective January 1, 2012.
Both parties are confident this agreement is what is best for Parkway Medical Center because it will ensure a stronger, more collaborative healthcare system for Decatur and position Parkway for a bright future.
According to Spillers, Huntsville Hospital and Parkway have had a strong working relationship for many years. “We serve many of the same patients and even share some physicians, so we are very pleased for Parkway to join our family. And, with our existing affiliation with Decatur General Hospital, this move will strengthen care in the Decatur community by providing a seamless network,” he said.
“We are proud of how Parkway has grown in the time that Capella has been a part of the community,” said Slipkovich. “Parkway’s employees and physicians deserve a great deal of credit for achieving high marks in quality outcomes and patient satisfaction, despite the economic pressures that have weighed on hospitals nationwide. Together, we have taken care to the next level, adding new services and technology, recruiting new physicians and growing market share. We know that excellent care will continue under Huntsville Hospital’s leadership.”
The announcement comes during a complex and transformative time in the healthcare industry, where the impact of national healthcare reform is driving hospitals and other healthcare providers to consolidate resources. Under reform, close collaborations will be rewarded, and every hospital will be challenged to do more with less.
Add to this that Alabama is one of the toughest reimbursement environments in the nation. In fact, effective January 1, Morgan County, Alabama will have the lowest Medicare wage index in the country. This means that hospitals in Morgan County will be paid the lowest in the nation to treat Medicare patients. It is clear that in the near future, healthcare providers must have considerable size – such as the network of hospitals and providers created by Huntsville Hospital – to survive and thrive in this state.
Added Slipkovich, “This was a difficult decision, but we feel it will help ensure the stability of high quality hospital care in Decatur for decades to come. Huntsville Hospital has a strong network in this region, including seven hospitals and numerous other facilities, and has a long-established reputation for excellence. They are the best partner for Parkway in today’s environment.”
Spillers said he was confident that the new relationship would be successful for patients.
“We’ve demonstrated our commitment to serving local communities through our affiliations with Athens-Limestone Hospital, Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield, and with Decatur General Hospital,” said Spillers. “We look forward to working with both Parkway and Decatur General to build on the quality health care services being offered in that community today.”
There will be no disruption in services at Parkway during this transition. Spillers added, “There are no plans to cutback services at Parkway, and all employees will become part of the Huntsville Hospital system.”
Parkway Medical Center is licensed for 120 beds and employs more than 300 people. The hospital’s medical staff includes 139 physicians, many of whom also have privileges on the medical staff at Decatur General. Huntsville Hospital and its affiliate institutions represent more than 1,500 hospital beds, 9,000 employees and a thousand physicians across North Alabama.