Kokomo, IN---At midnight July 1, 2012, Howard Regional Health System, Kokomo, officially transitioned to a new entity named Community Howard Regional Health, Inc. under sole ownership of Community Health Network, Indianapolis. As of that date, Howard Regional Health System ceased doing business as a county hospital, and the purchased assets and assumed liabilities transferred to Community Howard Regional Health. This includes Howard Regional’s $55 million debt for which Community Health Network will be the guarantor. The new entity will continue to be a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.
The transaction was approved by the boards of both Howard Regional and Community Health Network prior to the May 22 approval of the Howard County Commissioners and Howard County Council.
According to James P. Alender, president & CEO of Howard Regional, and Bryan Mills, president & CEO of Community Health Network, the transition has been a smooth one.
“Due diligence has been occurring for several months,” Alender said. “Since the County met in May, approximately 1,100 contracts had to be assigned to the new entity. This included physicians employed by Howard as well as equipment and other contractual obligations.”
The approximately 1,280 employees of Howard Regional became employees of Community Health Network on July 1. “It is very important to both organizations that the delivery of care is not interrupted in any way,” Alender said. “The affiliation with Community Health Network will allow us to retain our local governance and staff, while benefiting from growth and network support of its clinical services, enhanced access to primary and specialty care, capital, and pipelines for physician and employee recruitment.”
For Community, affiliation with Howard is a natural alignment with each of its primary service areas. Community’s strategy calls for developing and implementing a regional health plan that will enhance access to convenient healthcare for Howard County residents and those of surrounding counties.
“I am very optimistic that we will be extremely good partners,” Mills said. “We are both community-based organizations, and Community Health Network anticipates that it will support the Howard County operation, not change the clinical aspects of the way care is delivered.”
Community and Howard have partnered since 2001, when the Indiana Surgery Center Kokomo opened on the Howard Regional Health System campus. The center was the first free-standing outpatient surgery facility on a hospital campus in the region.
About Community Health Network
Ranked among the nation’s most integrated healthcare systems, Community Health Network is Central Indiana’s leader in providing convenient access to exceptional healthcare services, where and when patients need them—in hospitals, health pavilions and doctor’s offices, as well as workplaces, schools and homes. As a non-profit health system with over 200 sites of care and affiliates throughout Central Indiana, Community’s full continuum of care integrates hundreds of physicians, specialty and acute care hospitals, surgery centers, home care services, MedChecks, behavioral health and employer health services. To learn more, visit eCommunity.com or call 800-777-7775.