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In a press conference Friday (today), Skaggs Regional Medical Center announced its plan to partner with CoxHealth in Springfield. The Skaggs Board of Trustees unanimously affirmed the merge proposed by its Board of Directors. KSMU’s Rebekah Clark has details.
William Mahoney, the president and CEO of Skaggs, says it’s a big deal that all the trustees from the hospital voted unanimously for the merger.
“Trustees vote 98-0 unanimous to support a decision—the trustees are business leaders and owners in the community of both Taney and Stone County—that’s huge. I’m not sure that anyone in this region, in 417’s, have (had) a 98-0 vote before.”
He says that now, leaders from the center have a good game plan with CoxHealth. He refers to Cox as the “octane” to the operation and the reason Skaggs can move forward.
Skaggs will still operate much like it does today. What’s mainly changing, starting in January, are the leadership and governing influence on its operations.
“We’ll be keeping our current service lines; this is about growing business in Branson. Our medical staff will all come out of here. We’ll basically be a subsidiary of CoxHealth with them sitting on our Board, but operating our own independent hospital under their umbrella.”
Under the agreement, CoxHealth, as the parent company, will take over the responsibilities previously held by the Skaggs Board of Trustees. Additionally, CoxHealth will send a few representatives to serve on the Skaggs Board of Directors. Skaggs, in return, will have representation on the CoxHealth Board.
As far as patient care goes, Mahoney says people shouldn’t worry about too much changing.
“One thing that I’ve been asked about is, ‘what about my health insurance?’ because that drives where you go. We take the health insurance now, we’ll still take the health insurance in the future. They’ll be able to come here and see the physicians they’ve seen for years. But being a rural, stand-alone hospital makes it kind of an unstable world. Now that we have CoxHealth, a very strong financial partner, we’ll have that stability.”
Physical changes to the existing building are expected to begin in the first half of 2013.
The agreement is scheduled to be complete by the end of this year. Officials from both hospitals will then begin integrating operations.
Skaggs currently has 1,100 employees.
For KSMU News, I’m Rebekah Clark.