Medical Center, Navicent Health to manage Monroe County Hospital

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FORSYTH, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Monroe County commissioners approved a resolution that will allow the Medical Center, Navicent Health to take over management operations of the Monroe County Hospital.

Chairman Mike Bilderback tells 41NBC the commission passed the resolution during its meeting Tuesday night. Bilderback says he is excited about the partnership. He adds the healthcare facility has tried outside management before and it didn’t work, but he’s positive because the hospital already has a working relationship with Medical Center, Navicent Health.

“In my opinion this was inevitable,” Bilderback said. “I think this management deal is going to work a lot better. I just have a lot more faith in it.”

Bilderback adds the Medical Center, Navicent Health will manage the hospital, but the Monroe County Hospital Authority will still own the facility. He hopes it will also help with the hospital’s ambulatory services.

Bilderback tells 41NBC the county supports the hospital by giving it approximately $300,000 every year. This year the chairman says the county also gave the hospital an additional $109,000. Bilderback says many rural hospitals across Georgia are suffering because of the Affordable Care Act. He says the county wants to make sure it can do everything possible to keep the facility up and running and believes this partnership will help.

The chairman says the next step will be for representatives from the Medical Center, Navicent Health to conduct an in-depth analysis of the hospital to determine what needs to be done to make the operation more efficient. The Macon hospital could also consider adding new services. Bilderback says it is still too early to predict any impacts, such as job loss, but adds there could be possibilities of moving people around. Ultimately, Bilderback says this partnership is to protect the hospital and keep jobs in Monroe County.

Dr. Ninfa Saunders, the President and CEO of the Medical Center, Navicent Health, released the following statement:

“Navicent Health and the Hospital Authority of Monroe County have enjoyed a productive relationship for many years.  Discussions toward a more formal partnership have taken place for some time, and we are pleased to confirm that Navicent Health and Monroe County Hospital have entered into a management agreement, along with an acute care affiliation and a joint venture initiative for outpatient medical services. The goal of this partnership is to deliver high quality, reasonably priced local healthcare options to the community. The Hospital Authority of Monroe County and the Monroe County Commission are truly committed to the health and wellness of their community. It is our honor to serve the citizens of Monroe County and the surrounding region with our partners.”