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GHS, Laurens Health Care will integrate systems July 1

STAFF REPORTS
Published on Monday, June 24, 2013

After more than nine months of deliberation, Laurens County Health Care System (LCHCS) will integrate with Greenville Health System (GHS) as part of an innovative collaborative healthcare approach serving patients in the Laurens County area. Both hospital boards approved the measure June 21, and the integration will be effective on July 1.

The newly re-named Greenville Health System Laurens County Memorial Hospital is part of GHS’ model-of-change approach to health care that stresses innovative patient-driven, cost-effective care. The Laurens County Medical Campus will function as a sixth campus of GHS.

Laurens County Health Care System is integrating with GHS by becoming a part of a single integrated health system that will serve the needs of the residents of Greenville and Laurens Counties as well as other communities in the Upstate. LCHCS will lease its hospital facilities to GHS, which will begin operating the hospital on July 1.

 “As a community hospital, we have a fiduciary responsibility to make sure that we deliver health care in the most effective way for our patients in Laurens County,” said W. Michael Ellison, chairman of the Laurens County board of trustees. “We knew it made sense to become part of a larger health system to make better use of scarce dollars – and we wanted to work with someone that shared our vision, values of clinical quality, and, more important, had a long-standing connection to the community. Overwhelmingly, Greenville Health System was the top choice.”

Nearly 25 percent of Laurens County patients seeking hospital services already turn to GHS for some portion of their healthcare needs. That percentage is even higher in specialty areas like cardiology, neuro-surgery and pediatric intensive care, which usually aren’t available outside of major population centers.

“GHS has a long history of serving the Laurens County community, and this new structure will allow us to further strengthen that relationship,” said GHS President and CEO Mike Riordan. “As an integrated health system serving the Greenville and Laurens county markets, we will look at the needs of the community and develop a plan to meet those needs. As always, our focus will be on delivering quality care in a cost-effective, patient-centered environment.”

Health care is changing, including the expectation from consumers, businesses and insurers for increased quality at an affordable cost, said Riordan.

“Moving forward, we believe that health systems are going to have to deliver health care in a very different way in order to ensure that the right care is delivered at the right place at the right time,” said Riordan. “We believe the most successful health systems will develop multi-community integrated delivery systems that focus on keeping people healthier over their entire lives. The old episodic way of treating patients simply isn’t working anymore and too often results in fragmented or insufficient care.”

Under the integration agreement, Laurens County Health Care System will lease its facilities and transfer its operating assets under a 40-year long-term lease. Patients receiving services beginning July 1 will be patients of the GHS Laurens County Memorial Hospital. Physicians and allied health practitioners practicing at the LCHCS today will be granted privileges to practice at the new GHS Laurens County Memorial Hospital.

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