SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Update:
Skaggs officials announced Tuesday that they are seeking a "strategic partner" to help ensure the future of the hospital.
CoxHealth spokeswoman Stacy Fender tells KSPR, "We will carefully evaluate the Request-for-Proposal and we are very likely to respond. Skaggs is currently a part of our network, and we have a history of partnering with the hospital on a variety of patient care services and programs."
Mercy spokeswoman Lisa Cox tells KSPR "Although the hospital hans't received a Request-for-Proposal from Skaggs, hospital officials are interested in a potential partnership."
Skaggs Regional Medical Center officials say it's to continue providing high quality care and meeting commitments to employees and the community.
In a news release on Tuesday, Skaggs Regional Medical Center said it is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to find a key strategic partner for the future.
"The Board of Directors is focused on quality care in the community and preserving jobs," said David Smith, Chairman of the Skaggs Board of Directors. "In the changing healthcare landscape, we, like other rural, independent hospitals, need to shift to a new way of operating."
The shift is spurred by such things as the evolving private insurance market, the national financial crisis, healthcare reform and the needs of the hospital. These types of changes are creating opportunities for new partnerships in which health systems and hospitals come together in joint ventures, affiliations and mergers, which may emerge from the RFP process.
"There is much to be gained in such a partnership," according to William K. Mahoney, President and CEO of Skaggs. "Added benefits of a partnership include strategic resources and contracting, capital infusion and physician recruitment."
"We are looking for a good strategic and cultural fit," said Mahoney. "We desire a partner that shares our values in quality care for the community and our people."
The medical center is also responding to advances in medicine, changing some of the services it offers. For example, stent technology has dramatically reduced the number of open heart surgeries we perform therefore Skaggs will allow contracts tied to that service to expire in March. All affected Skaggs employees will be retained. Skaggs will continue to provide needed cardiology services, which includes non-invasive care and cardiac rehab.
"Making such changes now strengthens our position in a partnership," explains Mahoney.
"We will continue to provide updates as we move through the process," said Mahoney. "In the meantime, Skaggs' Board, management, employees and medical staff will continue to serve our patients every day with the same dedication and quality as we have for more than 60 years."
Skaggs Regional Medical Center is a licensed healthcare facility.