LifePoint Hospitals and Duke University Health System today announced plans to expand the organizations' joint venture partnership in a national quality affiliation.
The Duke LifePoint quality and safety collaboration will continue the work established through the Hospital Engagement Network program, which was developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. LifePoint has served as a HEN since 2011, and Duke served as a subcontractor in clinical improvement efforts. The ongoing quality initiative includes the formation of a national Physician Advisory Board and Patient and Family Advisory Board.
The HEN program ended in December, and LifePoint reports performance achievements including a 42 percent reduction in health care-acquired conditions and new tools established for patient care and safety.
“LifePoint was founded on a mission of making communities healthier,” Dr. Russell Holman (pictured), chief medical officer of LifePoint Hospitals, said in a release. “The HEN initiative allowed LifePoint and Duke to combine our expertise to significantly advance quality and patient safety performance across all LifePoint hospitals wherever they are located. Our new agreement confirms our commitment to expand our work to drive quality improvement and patient safety within our own hospitals and in hospitals serving communities across the country.”
Duke LifePoint Healthcare, the joint venture between LifePoint Hospitals and Duke University Health System, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Conemaugh Health System in Pennsylvania.
Terms of the acquisition, which include three hospitals, outpatient centers and Conemaugh Physician Group practices, exceed $500 million, according to a release. Duke LifePoint has also committed to invest $425 million in the system over the next 10 years.
Duke LifePoint announced a letter of intent for the acquisition in March. The joint venture operates nine other hospitals in Michigan, North Carolina and Virginia.
Duke LifePoint has finalized another joint venture in its North Carolina network and will pump $60 million in capital improvements to Rutherford Regional Health System in Rutherfordton, N.C.
Through the deal, Duke LifePoint will own 80 percent of the system and RRHS will maintain a 20 percent ownership stake. The joint venture between Duke University Health System and Nashville-based LifePoint Hospitals now owns four hospitals in North Carolina as well as a catheterization company.
"Duke LifePoint is excited to expand our presence in North Carolina and welcome Rutherford Regional to our system," Bill Carpenter, LifePoint chairman and CEO, said in a release. "Duke LifePoint and Rutherford Regional share a mission of making this region healthier. We are looking forward to beginning our journey to enhance care here and strengthening Rutherford Regional and its communities for the future."
Duke LifePoint Healthcare has turned to industry veteran Jerry Dooley to be interim CEO of Wilson Medical Center in North Carolina. Dooley, who has repeatedly filled a similar role for LifePoint in recent years, replaces Rick Hudson, who has retired following the completion of Duke LifePoint's acquisition of 80 percent of Wilson Medical. Wilson Medical has initiated a national search process for a permanent CEO.
"We are confident that Jerry can successfully lead the transition for Wilson Medical Center as it becomes part of Duke LifePoint's network of hospitals," Bill Carpenter, chairman and CEO of LifePoint, said in a release. "He is a seasoned hospital executive who will be a great addition to the Wilson team until a permanent CEO is named."
The Wilson Medical deal brings Duke LifePoint's North Carolina network of holdings to five. The joint venture has committed to a minimum of $120 million in capital investments at the hospital, east of Raleigh, over the next decade.
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