Recently, Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance announced historic plans to explore the creation of a new, integrated and locally governed health system. Since that time, we have been overwhelmed by the terrific support and interest in what we are pursuing together.
We have also received a number of important questions asking why this is happening and what it means for our hospitals, physicians, team members and communities.
We are committed to answering as many of those questions as we can and to being as transparent as possible as our organizations pursue the work ahead. That’s why we have created a couple of sources to accomplish that:
- The Better Together newsletter – This newsletter will be sent out periodically to physicians and team members at both organizations, along with others in our community who sign up. It will have the latest information, address questions, and feature voices from the region. If you have ideas to make it better, let us know. People who are interested in receiving the newsletter can sign up at BecomingBetterTogether.org.
- BecomingBetterTogether.org – We recently launched a website solely dedicated to providing the public with information about our shared vision to address the health issues that affect our region. There, we will provide updates about our efforts to unite our organizations. We encourage you to visit this site to learn more, submit questions, and stay up-to-date with the latest information – for example, we recently announced the members of our Integration Council, which is charged with overseeing planning for the proposed merger.
Wellmont and Mountain States are committed to this process of exploration into creating a new, integrated system that will help make our region healthier while controlling costs and making healthcare more affordable.
Thank you for your interest and support. Many of you have taken the time to share your thoughts and ask important questions – it’s clear that you care about the future of healthcare in our region just as much as we do.
To learn more about our shared vision for the future, view this new video below featuring Bart Hove, president and CEO of Wellmont, and Alan Levine, president and CEO of Mountain States.
Questions of the Week
In each newsletter, we will answer a couple of the hottest questions. For more answers, please go to our website, which will be updated frequently.
“Will the community be able to provide input regarding the new name of the future organization?”
Yes! As we explore creating a new, locally governed health system, we want to be sure the community – along with our own team members and physicians – has input in shaping it. We are not quite ready to begin the process of naming or branding, but stay tuned for how to chime in.
“How will employee benefits be impacted (retirement, health insurance, PTO, pension plan, etc.)?”
We understand how important these types of questions are. Today, we are still very early in exploring the specifics of what our future organization will look like.
What we can tell you today is that we would aspire to be one of the best healthcare employers in the country. Together, we would nurture a culture that promotes employee satisfaction and opportunity for professional growth. We promise to share more information when we are able.
“Won’t we lose competition by combining Mountain States and Wellmont?”
Actually, with this merger, our patients and our region will have access to more choices and healthcare options than they do today. By combining our resources, we can draw more specialists and add new services for which people now have to drive hours to find. In addition, this potential new organization would involve the institution of a Certificate of Public Advantage or COPA, which establishes enforceable commitments to guard against effects from any loss of competition. A COPA will mean that the health system must meet commitments in driving down unnecessary costs, keeping care affordable, improving quality of care, enhancing access and benefiting the communities we serve. Learn more about the COPA process here.