South Florida Hospital News
Saturday July 22, 2017

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July 2017 - Volume 14 - Issue 1




Indian River County Hospital News - Collaborative Review Committee Recommends Exploration for Potential Partner

The Collaborative Review Committee (CRC) unanimously voted to recommend the exploration of potential partnerships, excluding a sale of the hospital, with a special focus on not-for-profit healthcare organizations. This recommendation from the CRC must be officially approved by both the Indian River County Hospital District (IRCHD) and the Indian River Medical Center (IRMC) Board of Directors before moving forward.
"This is not a recommendation to make the decision [of a partnership] but to start the exploration," said Wayne T. Hockmeyer, Ph.D., IRMC Board Chairman. "We all need to coalesce around a common objective and anything found must come back to the Boards for approval. It's their ultimate responsibility to understand the benefits of partnering or affiliating."
Once both boards approve, the next steps may include:
• Engaging legal support - since both organizations have different fiduciary responsibilities
• Hiring a consulting group for the next phase of the process
• Soliciting feedback from the community
"You are a long way from making any contractually binding decisions," said district consultant Jeff Sommer, Director at Stroudwater Associates. There are lots of examples of partnering and the boards need to vet options and spend the time doing research on which partner might best address IRMC's strategic objectives, he added.
The exploration process will allow plenty of time for discussion and input.
IRMC is financially stable but is projected to need significant strategic investment to maintain its position as the market leader in Indian River County, added Sommer.
Of the 11 strategic objectives presented last month; patient first focus and long-term financial viability of IRMC ranked first and second by the committee, the District Trustees, the IRMC Board and Foundation Executive Committee.
The strategic objectives rankings:
1. Patient first focus
2. Maintain and enhance long term financial viability of IRMC
3. Strength of clinical service programs
4. High Quality Physicians
5. Governance Structure
6. Become an Employer of Choice
7. Investments In technology and facilities
8. Deepen community support and engagement
9. Market Position
10. Population Health
11. Maintain and expand service lines of care for all residents of Indian River County
"At least the top five strategic objectives should be included in conversations with potential partners," said Marybeth Cunningham, IRCHD Chairwoman.
"IRMC faces the same industry headwinds of hospitals nationally. And these headwinds add to its operating risk profile," said Sommers. He notes that Standard and Poor's has extended its stable outlook for the not-for-profit healthcare sector in 2017, "but not without trepidation."
It was recognized that IRMC has taken steps to continually improve its operations, most recently with enhanced commercial payor contracts, reduction in turnover and elimination of contract labor and temporary staffing. However, Stroudwater did suggest additional operational improvement opportunities with the potential of 1.5% annual improvement in revenue cycle and expense reduction.
CRC members include Marybeth Cunningham, Allen Jones, Wayne T. Hockmeyer, Ph.D., Gerri Smith, Anthony "Tony" Woodruff, and ad hoc members Hal Brown, M.D., and Bill Kelley, M.D


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