Boards of trustees at Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center (MAHHC) and Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) have approved an affiliation between the two organizations, extending and deepening an already strong relationship between the two health care providers.
The boards’ approvals conclude a sixth-month regulatory and due diligence process, and finalize a partnership that will allow MAHHC and D-H to move toward a more sustainable health system for the region, assuring that patients have access to services locally and seamless care across the Connecticut River Valley.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s board approved the final agreement on June 20; Mt. Ascutney’s trustees voted their final approval on June 24. Vermont’s Green Mountain Care Board has been apprised of the affiliation, which takes effect on July 1.
Mt. Ascutney Hospital will retain its status as an independent not-for-profit community hospital, maintaining a local board of trustees responsible for oversight. The Hospital will share resources with D-H to improve governance, operations, finance and clinical programs. Potential benefits include a more integrated clinical communication system between the organizations, more efficient business systems that help reduce administrative costs, and, most importantly, the ability for clinicians to better integrate care for patients.
A number of clinical and administrative relationships already exist between MAHHC and D-H. MAHHC provides sub-acute and inpatient acute rehabilitation services to patients discharged from D-H. In addition, D-H provides a number of specialty services to patients at Mt. Ascutney Hospital including orthopaedics, general surgery and, soon, urology. MAHHC is also a member of the New England Alliance for Health, a D-H based alliance designed to promote shared savings to its members.
“Dartmouth-Hitchcock is committed to creating a sustainable health system that improves the lives of the people and communities it serves, for generations to come”, said Dr. James N. Weinstein, CEO and President of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health system. “This affiliation with Mt. Ascutney will advance that vision and allow our two organizations to partner together to deliver the very best, most appropriate care to our patients, while sharing resources and best practices to lower costs and improve care. Our collaboration will make an already great relationship between D-H and Mt. Ascutney even stronger.”
CEO of Mt Ascutney Hospital, Kevin W. Donovan, explained that Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Dartmouth-Hitchcock share a common mission of improving the overall health of the communities they serve and finding more efficient ways to deliver health care. “As we seek to maintain and improve services provided to our community, it is imperative that we work together with others to best use resources,” stated Donovan. “We are pleased that the exhaustive due-diligence process has resulted in this mutually beneficial relationship which will advance quality care, lower costs, and provide the most appropriate care, close to home.”