Health network deal won’t affect territory, Marshall

January 23, 2019

HUNTINGTON — The new affiliation agreement between Mountain Health Network, which includes Huntington’s two hospitals, and Charleston Area Medical Center will not define geographic territories between the two parties.

The affiliation also will not affect the academic agreement between Cabell Huntington Hospital, the teaching hospital for Marshall University, and Marshall’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, said Lisa Chamberlin, Cabell Huntington vice president of strategic marketing, planning and business development, in an email Friday.

Mountain Health Network, which controls Cabell Huntington and St. Mary’s Medical Center, announced an affiliation agreement with CAMC on Jan. 11, stating the two institutions will work together to share information and train doctors.

An affiliation agreement is a loosely defined term and can mean anything from short-term joint ventures to complete mergers. The agreement between Mountain Health and CAMC, Chamberlin explained, is “an undertaking between the two organizations to explore ways in which community health and area health care can be improved through their cooperative efforts.”

This, she continued, may include joint training and retraining staff, clinical trials and clinical research.

An affiliation agreement is not subject to approval or oversight by the West Virginia Health Care Authority, nor does it require a certificate of need.

The agreement paperwork is currently confidential and has not been made public.

Affiliation agreements are necessary before two companies do business together and are not the same as an acquisition or merger, Gary White, Mountain Health Network interim chief executive officer, explained previously to The Herald-Dispatch.

These also come with confidentiality agreements, necessary for hospitals to share patient data, he said.

In May 2018, Cabell Huntington completed its acquisition of St. Mary’s Medical Center, becoming the Mountain Health Network. The combined hospitals make the health system the third largest in West Virginia. Mountain Health operates 696 licensed beds with an annual operating revenue of $1.02 billion, per figures provided by CAMC.

Cabell Huntington currently operates with an affiliation agreement with Pleasant Valley Hospital of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, signed in 2013. This is the first such affiliation for Mountain Health.

CAMC is the second largest health system in the state, behind West Virginia University. It operates 956 licensed beds with an annual operating revenue of $1.2 billion.

CAMC declined further comment beyond Jan. 11′s announcement of the affiliation.

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