An agreement between IU Health LaPorte Hospital, Community Health Systems and Indiana University Health will mean greater access to medical care for local residents and provide an economic boost to Starke and LaPorte Counties. That’s according to officials from the three entities, who announced details of a new healthcare partnership in a joint news release.
It is expected to transition Indiana University Health into a minority ownership role of IU Health LaPorte and Starke Hospitals. They will own 20 percent, and CHS subsidiaries will own 80 percent after the agreement is finalized in early 2016. IU Health will share equal governance of the new organization. Officials say this will ensure a local voice is heard in all future decisions.
IU Health Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Ryan Kitchell says in a statement, “This new arrangement will enhance patient care and service, as well as continue to provide access to the specialty care available within the IU Health system.”
A new, independent charitable foundation will be established to receive proceeds from the change in ownership. The Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte will be dedicated to investing in healthcare initiatives in the communities served by the two hospitals. It will be governed and managed locally.
IU Health Starke Hospital President Craig Felty says the partnership will further strengthen the hospital’s commitment to rural healthcare by providing even greater access to providers and services.
CHS has committed to making significant investments in healthcare developments in La Porte and Starke counties. IU Health La Porte and Starke hospitals will become local taxpayers, providing an important source of new tax revenue to support the local economy. In addition, charity care policies will remain in place to ensure the community’s most vulnerable can still receive the care they need. The hospitals will retain their current names at this time.
Community Health Systems, Inc. is one of the largest investor-owned, publicly-traded hospital companies in the nation. CHS operates nearly 200 hospitals in 29 states across the nation, including nine in Indiana. The organization has a track record of successfully enhancing hospital operations, advancing quality, and supporting care through capital investment, physician recruitment, and other resources required for success. Just as important, CHS is committed to honoring local hospital values and culture.