LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. - St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Highpoint Health have signed a Letter of Intent outlining an agreement to integrate Highpoint Health and its associated physician group, Highpoint Health Physician Partners, into the St. Elizabeth system.
Transitioning Highpoint Health into the St. Elizabeth system comes on the heels of other collaborations between the two healthcare systems. Recently, the two systems began working together on the development of a new cancer center in Dearborn County.
Additionally, when Highpoint Health, like so many rural hospitals across the nation, began facing significant financial challenges from COVID-19, St. Elizabeth provided assistance to help stabilize the financial outlook for the system.
Unfortunately, the significant financial strain made it impossible for Highpoint to recover. Integrating with St. Elizabeth provides economies of scale, access to information technology platforms to optimize operations and physician recruiting capabilities to ensure the supply of specialists to serve the residents of Southeast Indiana.
As currently proposed, St. Elizabeth Healthcare would assume operations as of the closing date and would prioritize stabilizing the healthcare system by transitioning operations to the St. Elizabeth information technology platforms and management systems.
St. Elizabeth would also operate the hospital and outpatient services under the name St. Elizabeth Dearborn, and Highpoint Health Physician Partners would join St. Elizabeth Physicians. Both health systems hope to close the deal by August 1, 2020, but that timeline is dependent upon the due diligence process that will now begin.
“It is our hope and expectation that this future integration will provide Southeast Indiana with continued access to high-quality healthcare close to home for decades to come,” shared Garren Colvin, President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Elizabeth Healthcare. “Our joint vision is to create a new, comprehensive medical campus that encompasses not only the existing St. Elizabeth outpatient facility located in Greendale, but a dedicated cancer care center, full-service emergency department, a broad range of specialists, surgery center and inpatient beds, which would improve access to healthcare in the region into the future.”
In this transition, St. Elizabeth plans to invest approximately $50 million in capital projects and technology investments over the next five years in modernizing the healthcare services in Southeast Indiana.
“Highpoint Health has been a pillar in this community for more than 60 years,” said Michael Schwebler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Highpoint Health. “This arrangement with St. Elizabeth ensures our community will continue to receive the same high quality, personalized care they have come to expect. Just as important, it will save the jobs of our dedicated employees who have gone above and beyond caring for our patients, especially during this challenging time.”
The transition approach proposed by St. Elizabeth Healthcare’s intended investment into the facility and services:
- Stabilize Highpoint Health financial operations
- Plan for future healthcare delivery needs, in consultation with physicians and the community
- Open a Cancer Care Center at the Greendale campus in 2021-22
- Build an expanded healthcare facility to meet the comprehensive healthcare needs of the community