In this era of healthcare reform, there is more pressure on community hospitals
to develop ways to improve care and efficiency while reducing costs in
order to retain services. Eight hospitals in Northwest Ohio have formed
Vantage Healthcare of Ohio, LLC, which preserves the independence of the
community hospital but also allows member hospitals to create new services
and provide easier access to healthcare in their local community. The
eight hospitals comprising Vantage Healthcare of Ohio are: The Bellevue
Hospital, (Bellevue); Blanchard Valley Health System, (Findlay); Community
Hospitals and Wellness Centers, (Bryan); Fulton County Health Center,
(Wauseon); Henry County Hospital, (Napoleon); Magruder Memorial Hospital,
(Port Clinton); Fisher-Titus Medical Center, (Norwalk); and Wood County
Hospital, (Bowling Green). By combining volumes, new services can be created
that otherwise would have limited access.
Within the six county region of Northwest Ohio, this group of hospitals
treats a significant number of inpatients and outpatients each year. The
group intends to focus on improving efficiency and bringing better access
to service by working together. The jointly owned company can make services
more effective for the area's patients.
One of the first areas to look at jointly, are the services that are currently
out-sourced. This is where a hospital does not have sufficient volume
to justify a full time service.
"When you look at the services we each purchase from outside suppliers,
we simply added up this volume and found that if we had the right business
structure, our combined volume could provide a better service, at less
cost to the our hospital," commented Kim Bordenkircher, chief executive
officer at Henry County Hospital.
The group intends to create an alternative to having to looking at large
healthcare systems to be efficient.
"You can organize the existing hospitals and providers of health
care in our local communities and combine their efforts to be larger when
you need to be. Yet, you can retain the personal care that the smaller
organizations are well known for," continued Bordenkircher.
Hospitals joining together to share a service is not new. Consortium and
shared service companies have been created before and some are well established
in Ohio. What is new is the creation of a hospital owned for profit company,
owned by two or more hospitals. This company can then "own"
services provide them to not only the "members" but to the market
place in general. The structure provides greater access to more services
and partners than the traditional hospital structure would allow.
After more than a year of research, the eight hospital group identified
Vantage Healthcare Network, a company in Pennsylvania that had successfully
implemented a joint venture company that saved its participating hospitals
money while also developing services that generated a profit.
Taking advantage of this history of success, the company has been approved
as the manager for Vantage Healthcare of Ohio and the name Vantage was
secured for Ohio use. The name captures the concept of hospitals moving
to a "vantage point" where opportunities can be seen that one
single organization may not recognize.