Harrington HealthCare System Enters Formal Negotiations with UMass Memorial Health Care for Acquisition Agreement
SOUTHBRIDGE, MA – The Members of Harrington HealthCare System voted last night in support of its Board and Strategic Executive Committee’s recommendation to formally enter into a Letter of Intent (LOI) with UMass Memorial Health Care to pursue an acquisition agreement.
Harrington formed a 10-member Strategic Executive Committee during 2018 to evaluate long-term options to maintain Harrington as a financially secure, high-quality local health provider. The committee identified as its priorities quality affordable care, health of the community, financial viability, investments in infrastructure and continued employment.
“There are significantly fewer independent hospitals in the Commonwealth, and the country, compared to 20 and 30 years ago,” said Harrington President and CEO, Ed Moore. “We are in a fortunate position in that we are a strong organization with an outstanding medical staff, talented employees and great community support; we wanted to take the reins to shape our own future.”
Among the positive benefits offered by the UMass Memorial relationship are:
· Shared charitable mission to improve the health of the communities we serve.
· Commitments to retain critical services in an affordable setting, including acute inpatient and outpatient services, consisting of surgical, emergency, radiology, oncology, behavioral health, substance abuse care and lab units.
· Capital support for routine and strategic capital needs, as well as for technology and infrastructure upgrades.
· Support for targeted provider recruitment, particularly in Primary Care and Psychiatry.
· Support for ‘place-based’ investments throughout the Harrington Health community. This charitable commitment will enhance Harrington’s existing funding of various community benefit programs and initiatives intended to improve overall health determinants of the residents of the service area.
· Commitment to be a positive employer in the local/regional market. UMass Memorial does not expect any changes to the Harrington HealthCare system status quo for the foreseeable future.
The agreement would allow Harrington HealthCare System and Harrington Memorial Hospital to maintain their local community boards with reserved powers held by a UMass Memorial subsidiary, which will become the sole member of HHCS. Further, HHCS Board will have representation on both the parent and community hospital boards of UMass Memorial.
“The UMMHC mission and vision strongly mirrors that of Harrington’s. Their geographic location is an obvious match for our current footprint; their advanced technology would be an
asset to our infrastructure; and the investments they can offer will provide our community a stable, long-term plan for keeping healthcare local to south central Massachusetts and northeastern Connecticut,” Moore said. “We want our patients, their family members and the more than 200,000 individuals we care for to know how invested we are in protecting their access to high quality, affordable healthcare.”
If accepted, Harrington would become a member hospital within UMass Memorial Health Care, joining UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton, UMass Memorial Marlborough Hospital and UMass Memorial Medical Center.
“UMass Memorial Health Care is thrilled to have an opportunity to partner with this well-respected, iconic and essential South-Central Massachusetts institution,” said Doug Brown, President of Community Hospitals and Chief Administrative Officer for UMass Memorial Health Care. “Harrington Healthcare shares our commitment to the cause of patient-centric care. This partnership can strengthen both organization’s efforts to improve population health initiatives and address social determinants of health factors impacting our communities. We look forward to continuing the process with Harrington and reaching an agreement that maintains the important healthcare resources the hospital offers the community.”
Final approval is expected to take six to nine months. The acquisition would allow the Harrington community greater access to capital for service improvements, better access to community-based care and advanced health information technology to utilize health data for accountable care and other risk-based, population-based management to improve quality of care and lower costs.
“This proposed strategic partnership recognizes the enormous potential to expand and strengthen the care for patients in our region,” said Eric, W. Dickson, MD, president and CEO of UMass Memorial Health Care. “Harrington Healthcare is not a stranger - we have worked with them on several levels over the course of the past two decades. This proposed stronger relationship is possible because both organizations recognize that to better serve patient needs now and, in the future, hospital organizations have to work in closer collaboration. I am excited about the prospects of what can be accomplished by a stronger Harrington Healthcare and UMass Memorial.”
The vote does not impact patient care services currently offered within Harrington’s system. All sites remain open and patients should continue to use Harrington campus locations and physician offices for routine appointments, emergency care and diagnostic testing, including imaging, labs, cancer care, inpatient admissions, surgical procedures and behavioral health.
“This is just the first step in the process,” assures Harrington President and CEO Ed Moore. “We want our patients to know that services remain open and accessible, now and in the future.”
About Harrington HealthCare System
Harrington HealthCare System is a comprehensive regional healthcare system serving more
than 25 communities across south central Massachusetts and northeastern Connecticut. The system includes Harrington Hospital in Southbridge, Harrington HealthCare at Webster and three additional major medical office buildings: Harrington HealthCare at Charlton, Harrington
HealthCare at 169, also in Charlton, and Harrington HealthCare at Spencer; Harrington Physician Services, our primary care and multi-specialty physician group; UrgentCare Express at Harrington in Charlton and Oxford; The Cancer Center at Harrington in Southbridge, and the region’s largest Behavioral Health programs for mental health and substance use. For more information, please visit www.harringtonhospital.org.
UMass Memorial Health Care
UMass Memorial Health Care is the largest not-for-profit health care system in Central Massachusetts with more than 14,000 employees and 1,700 physicians, many of whom are members of UMass Memorial Medical Group. Our member hospitals and entities include UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital, UMass Memorial – Marlborough Hospital, UMass Memorial Medical Center and UMass Memorial – Community Healthlink, our behavioral health agency. With our teaching and research partner, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, our extensive primary care network and our cancer, diabetes, heart and vascular, orthopedic and surgery programs, UMass Memorial delivers safe, high-quality and compassionate care. Visit www.umassmemorialhealthcare.org.