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Wellmont officials: ‘Alignment’ option embraces coming change

January 12th, 2014 9:21 pm by Hank Hayes

Wellmont officials: ‘Alignment’ option embraces coming change

KINGSPORT — Wellmont Health System says its decision to consider aligning with another health system has a clear message: Change is good, and change is coming amid a mixed economic environment.

“We purposefully have used the word ‘alignment’ because we don’t have any preconceived notion as to what a partnership might produce,” Wellmont CEO Denny DeNarvaez said during a question-and-answer session with reporters Thursday.

Wellmont, a not-for-profit system, said the alignment decision came after consulting with national health care adviser Kaufman Hall, which has done nearly 180 assessments for other providers over the past 12 months.

But, in recent years leading up to 2013, health care providers haven’t partnered with each other.

The American Hospital Association (AHA) says that between 2007 and June 2013, only about 12 percent of community hospitals were involved in a “transaction” — either a merger or acquisition.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Monday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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