DOTmed: Please outline the scope of this project.
The Geisinger Health System Foundation Board of Directors voted on June 20, 2013 to approve the Comprehensive Integration and Merger Agreement (CIMA) Geisinger has been working on with the leadership of Lewistown Healthcare Foundation. The Board at Lewistown Hospital voted its approval of the merger agreement last week. This vote brings the two organizations still closer to a full merger and integration.
In a 216 to 17 vote on June 19, the Lewistown Hospital corporate membership voted to approve the merger as well. The corporate membership is now dissolved and a new community advisory board will be created.
Both Geisinger and Lewistown Hospital have been completing legal and operational due diligence since signing a Letter of Intent in December.
Under the terms of the proposed merger agreement, Geisinger will keep Lewistown Hospital open as the acute care hospital in the region; invest capital commitment in excess of $50 million to allow for facility upgrades to include the renovation of and equipment replacement in the ED and Imaging Department, renovations to patient care rooms and completion of Big Valley clinic in Belleville; keep all staff to the extent possible with comparable benefits/compensation; maintain an open medical staff with the intent of keeping all physicians—independent, employed and contracted—to the extent possible; continue participation with insurances currently in place at Lewistown Hospital; keep the School of Nursing open; recruit needed specialists to the area to ensure more healthcare services locally; meet or exceed Lewistown Hospital Foundation’s charity and self-pay programs; assume the long-term debt and unfunded liability of the Lewistown Hospital Foundation’s pension plan; create a new Community Advisory Board and maintain local identity with the name Geisinger-Lewistown Hospital.
Lewistown Hospital and Geisinger already work together in a number of ways, including the hospitalist, tele-stroke, tele-echo and eICU programs at the hospital. The multi-specialty Geisinger-Lewistown physician practice has served the community since 1983, and a second primary care practice is located in Juniata. Geisinger acquired Lewistown Cardiology Associates in October 2011 and Juniata Valley Gastroenterology Associates and Endoscopy Center in May 2012.
DOTmed: How will this project help the community you serve?
Geisinger will invest in excess of $50 million to allow for facility upgrades to include the renovation of and equipment replacement in the ED and Imaging Department, renovations to patient care rooms and completion of Big Valley clinic in Belleville.
DOTmed: What does the timeline to completion look like?
Finalization of the merger is pending regulatory review by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and approval by the state Attorney General’s Office and other federal regulators. It is expected that the merger will be finalized in approximately three months.