HOSPITAL MERGERS: Kaweah Delta, Memorial To Join Forces
Visalia-based Kaweah Delta Health Care District said Tuesday that it will buy Exeter-based Memorial Hospital, the Fresno Bee reports. According to officials from both systems, the consolidation will allow them to better compete for dwindling federal health care dollars. Memorial CEO Sally Brewer said the 80-bed facility "expects to see federal funding earmarked for rural health clinics slashed by about a third in the upcoming year." She said, "We don't want to risk the health services. Our issue is that we want to make sure that the changes don't affect us negatively in the long term." Kaweah Delta CEO Tom Johnson said the 425-bed, three-campus facility "also expects to lose federal money -- possibly $22 million -- in the next five years." In addition, he said the merger would benefit Kaweah Delta "by bringing in programs it doesn't offer now," including a sub-acute care program "for patients with chronic diseases."
It's A Deal
The Fresno Bee reports that "[i]t's too early to say whether patients would notice major changes at" the two hospitals. While details of the deal were not available, "officials said there would be one board of governors to oversee both health-care systems." Name changes for either institution or employment cuts have also not been decided, according to Memorial Hospital attorney Suzanne Van Hall. However, she did say, "We're trying to get the consolidation done as rapidly as possible" (Quach, 4/22).