DKH, Hartford
PUTNAM — Day Kimball Healthcare (DKH) and Hartford HealthCare (HHC) are exploring a strategic partnership that could lead to a formal affiliation.
The Day Kimball Healthcare Board of Directors voted to begin the process by authorizing a non-binding Letter of Intent with Hartford HealthCare, which allows the two organizations to work together to outline the terms of the proposed affiliation. The process is expected to take several months.
Initially, the two systems will enter into a series of management services agreements that will allow HHC to provide management support for select operations determined by DKH. These agreements will offer economies of scale to help DKH reduce its cost structure.
In addition, the two organizations will participate in initiatives to enhance quality, safety and value-based arrangements that will benefit patients served by both healthcare systems. These agreements and partnerships will take place as the two organizations work to consider a formal integration.
During this time, DKH and its physicians will have the opportunity to participate in HHC’s Integrated Care Partners (ICP) organization, a physician-led community of providers dedicated to improving the coordination of care and patient outcomes. ICP member providers use evidence-based medicine protocols; forge partnerships with health plans, employers and providers; and provide services to improve the health of the populations they serve.
“At Day Kimball Healthcare, our mission has always been, and continues to be, to keep the people of northeastern Connecticut healthy,” said Robert Smanik, FACHE, DKH president and chief executive officer. “To fulfill that mission, we have been proactive and innovative in meeting the challenges of a rapidly changing healthcare environment, integrating services across our network to provide efficient and coordinated patient-centered care. We see a potential affiliation with Hartford HealthCare as important to continuing that mission.”
Smanik said as DKH and HHC engage in the affiliation review process, there was an immediate opportunity to partner with HHC to work together on continued operational improvements at DKH, with a focus on quality and safety, physician recruitment efforts and the creation of more efficient services for the Northeast Connecticut region.
The affiliation review process will involve input and communication with key DKH stakeholders — employees, members of the medical staff, board members, corporators, volunteers, government and community leaders, donors and other community members, Smanik said.
“An affiliation with HHC would provide DKH clinicians and patients with access to HHC’s key system-wide health care service lines,” Smanik added. These include cancer care, orthopedics, behavioral health, cardiology, stroke treatment, outpatient services and neuroscience. “Conversely, DKH, with our unique background in rural health, will work with HHC as it continues to focus on population health improvement.”
“Hartford HealthCare provides consistently excellent and well-coordinated care to patients across Connecticut. As a full member of Hartford HealthCare, DKH would bring to our system its considerable expertise and experience in providing integrated medical services in the northeast area of the state as well,” said Elliot Joseph, president and chief executive officer of Hartford HealthCare.
“This would be a significant partnership and we look forward to working with Day Kimball Healthcare as we go through the review process,” Joseph added. “Meanwhile, our immediate collaboration is important for patients in Connecticut’s Quiet Corner, because it means they will have access to a more comprehensive system to meet their healthcare needs close to home.”
The signing of a Letter of Intent is the first step before an affiliation can be created. Both organizations will perform due diligence to determine if an affiliation would be in the best interest of those served by both organizations. If there is agreement to move forward, a Definitive Agreement would be created. This would require the approval of the two organizations’ respective governing boards, and regulatory approval by appropriate government agencies.
“Day Kimball Healthcare and Hartford HealthCare share similar missions and values, which makes this a good fit,” said Joseph Adiletta, DKH’s board chairman. “In today’s challenging financial environment, we know that healthcare organizations are more likely to thrive when they create new ways to work together.”
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