ATLANTA (April 9, 2010) – Saint Joseph’s Health System and Piedmont Healthcare today announced the signing of a letter agreement to enter exclusive negotiations to create a new partnership in the form of a Joint Operating Company. Both Piedmont Healthcare and Saint Joseph’s are nationally recognized healthcare systems known for their quality, service to the community, and outstanding medical staffs. The proposed partnership would enable the two healthcare systems to collaborate to better serve the people of North Georgia.
The proposed Joint Operating Company (JOC) would combine certain assets of both Piedmont Healthcare (PHC) and Saint Joseph’s Health System (SJHS), including Saint Joseph’s Hospital of Atlanta, and the newly formed entity would operate pursuant to the Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs) of the Catholic Church. The ERDs would not apply to PHC entities outside of the JOC. The Letter of Intent provides for a period of time in which the two healthcare systems will conduct exclusive discussions to reach a final agreement on the terms of the joint operations.
“Saint Joseph’s believes that this is an opportunity to leverage our reputation as a leader in clinical excellence and will allow us to expand our mission as a faith-based health system,” said J. Stephen Eaton, Chairman, Saint Joseph’s Health System Board of Trustees. “We highly regard the accomplishments and healthcare expertise of Piedmont Healthcare and believe a partnership with them will better serve our patients and expand access to quality healthcare services.”
“A joint operating company between Piedmont Healthcare and Saint Joseph’s would be a unique partnership between two of the most respected and longest-serving healthcare providers in Georgia,” said R. Timothy Stack, President and CEO of Piedmont Healthcare. “We have each served this community for more than 100 years by providing unparalleled patient care while achieving the highest possible clinical outcomes.”
Both system CEOs note the rapidly changing landscape of health care as an impetus for creating a more collaborative business model.
“In a constantly changing and complex healthcare environment, a joint operating company with Piedmont Healthcare is a smart, efficient and cost-effective way to provide the best quality of care possible for Georgians,” said Kirk G. Wilson, President and CEO, Saint Joseph's Health System. “We look forward to finalizing the JOC structure with Piedmont Healthcare, who represents an exceptional potential partner. The JOC is a wonderful opportunity to create one of the finest healthcare delivery systems in the country, and we are very excited with the prospect of partnering with Piedmont Healthcare in this effort.”
The JOC would be co-sponsored by Piedmont Healthcare and Saint Joseph’s Health System. Under the leadership of a separate Board populated with trustees from both SJHS and Piedmont Healthcare, the JOC's Board and management would lead all decision-making involving the JOC.
The due diligence period under the Letter of Intent is expected to take approximately 90 days. Once a definitive agreement is reached, Saint Joseph’s and Piedmont Healthcare pursue final approval from their respective governing bodies, the Sisters of Mercy and Catholic Health East, the Archbishop of Atlanta, the Federal Trade Commission and the Georgia Attorney General. The parties hope to have the proposed JOC in place by the end of the year.
“It is a challenging time in the healthcare industry, but one that we must approach with the belief that these challenges can also provide us opportunities to seek innovation and improve clinical care in a collaborative model,” said Stack.
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About Saint Joseph's Health System
Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1880, Saint Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta is now a 410-bed, acute-care hospital recognized as one of the leading specialty-referral hospitals in the Southeast. Saint Joseph's is one of the region's premier providers of cardiac, vascular oncology and orthopaedic services and home to the most comprehensive minimally invasive robotic surgery program in the world. Saint Joseph's is one of the 50 top hospitals and one of the few hospitals in the world to receive Magnet Recognition for Nursing Excellence. Saint Joseph's medical staff is comprised of over 750 physicians. Saint Joseph's Health System is based in Atlanta and has several subsidiaries including indigent care services, employed physician group, a 25-bed critical access hospital in Greensboro, GA, and research facilities. Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Saint Joseph's is a member of Catholic Health East. For more information, please visit www.saintjosephsatlanta.org.
About Piedmont Healthcare
Piedmont Healthcare (PHC), a not-for-profit organization, is the parent company of Piedmont Hospital, a 481-bed acute tertiary care facility in the north Atlanta community of Buckhead, and the Best in Atlanta in Overall Cardiac Care, Cardiac Surgery and Coronary Intervention for 2010 (HealthGrades®); Piedmont Fayette Hospital, a 143-bed, acute-care community hospital in Fayetteville, and one of two Georgia hospitals among the 100 Top Hospitals in the nation (2010); Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, a 42-bed community hospital in Jasper; and Piedmont Newnan Hospital, a 143-bed, acute-care community hospital in Newnan. Piedmont Healthcare also is the parent company of the Piedmont Heart Institute (PHI), comprised of more than 85 cardiovascular specialists in Piedmont Heart Institute Physicians with over 30 locations across north Georgia and North Carolina; the Piedmont Physicians Group, with more than 100 primary care physicians in over 30 offices throughout metro Atlanta; the Piedmont Clinic, a 600-member physician network; and Piedmont Philanthropy, the philanthropic entity for private fundraising initiatives. Three Piedmont Healthcare hospitals—Piedmont Hospital, Piedmont Fayette Hospital and Piedmont Mountainside Hospital— are among the 2009 Most Wired hospitals in the nation and also received the top three patient satisfaction scores among metro Atlanta hospitals according to the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey (March 2009). For more information, visit piedmont.org.