FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 20, 2019
HABERSHAM MEDICAL CENTER & NORTHEAST GEORGIA HEALTH SYSTEM EVALUATING FIVE-YEAR AGREEMENT
DEMOREST, Ga. – The Hospital Authority of Habersham County and the Habersham County Commission voted Monday night to approve a letter of intent (LOI) between Habersham Medical Center (HMC), Habersham County and Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS).
Under the LOI, both HMC and NGHS will evaluate and finalize a proposed five-year agreement designed to invest a total of $15 million in HMC’s capital assets to enhance healthcare services. The intent is for NGHS to acquire HMC at the end of the five -year period, assuming specific terms of the agreement are met. The agreement would complement a plan already announced for Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) to begin supporting emergency department and inpatient services at HMC starting July 1, 2019.
“This would be a win-win for the future of our community,” says Stacy Hall, chairman of the Habersham County Commission. “Leaders at HMC and NGHS have a vision for how to continue improving health care for patients in Habersham County while also positively impacting the financial health of our local economy, and both of those moves better the lives of the people we all serve.”
The proposed agreement outlines a five-year plan for NGHS to invest $3 million dollars annually to help HMC fund capital projects to enhance and expand services for the hospital in Demorest. During that five-year period, any dollars HMC generates beyond 20 days of cash-on-hand to support operations would be transferred to a fund. At the end of the agreement term, the fund balance would be used at the discretion of HMC and the Hospital Authority – with the intent to apply the funds to Habersham County’s debt.
“This is a great example of dedicated leaders finding a creative solution to complex financial problems facing rural healthcare in communities across the nation,” says Jim Carboy, chair of the Hospital Authority of Habersham County. “It’s vital that the community support its hometown hospital by utilizing the services at HMC and helping make the agreement successful.”
During the five-year agreement, HMC leadership and staff would continue to operate the hospital under direction from the Hospital Authority of Habersham County. At the end of the definitive agreement term, NGHS would have the option to acquire HMC.
“The success of this partnership is critically important to the success of Habersham Medical Center and the communities we serve,” says Lynn Boggs, CEO of HMC. “We are excited about the potential of this innovative, collaborative agreement – which is the next step in HMC and NGHS working together for a healthier tomorrow.”
“We value our longstanding relationship with HMC, and our goal is to strengthen that connection in ways that support the entire community and region,” says Carol Burrell, president and CEO of Northeast Georgia Health System – which includes NGMC. “We look forward to continuing to collaborate and care for our mutual patients.”
ABOUT HABERSHAM MEDICAL CENTER
HMC, a 53-licensed-bed acute care hospital, serves approximately 80,000 residents in Habersham and adjoining counties. HMC operates Habersham Home, an 84-licensed-bed skilled nursing facility, and HCMC Home Care, the service area’s sole agency for hospital-based home health providers.
ABOUT NORTHEAST GEORGIA MEDICAL CENTER
Since 1951, Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) has been on a mission of improving the health of our community in all we do. With hospitals located in Gainesville, Braselton and Barrow – the three NGMC campuses have a total of 713 beds and more than 800 medical staff members representing more than 50 specialties. NGMC is part of Northeast Georgia Health System, a non-profit that cares for more than 1 million people across more than 18 counties. Learn more at www.nghs.com.