January 7, 2009 — The University of Virginia Medical Center and Culpeper Regional Hospital began implementing a partnership between the two hospitals on Jan. 1. This action follows approval by operating boards of the two institutions and a public hearing.
"This partnership is founded on a long relationship between our organizations and a shared goal to do what is in the best interest of our patients. There are many areas where we can work together to strengthen both of our hospitals and our communities," said R. Edward Howell, vice-president and CEO of U.Va. Medical Center.
Under the terms of the partnership, the U.Va. Medical Center will invest $40 million in Culpeper Regional Hospital over three years, which will equate to a 49 percent investment in the Culpeper institution. Culpeper Regional Hospital will remain an independent, not-for-profit hospital with an independent board of trustees. The partnership became effective Jan. 1.
"We are excited about this opportunity and all it entails for the Culpeper community and Culpeper Regional Hospital," said H. Lee Kirk, president and CEO of Culpeper Regional Hospital. Howell and Kirk said the partnership is a natural progression of the relationship between the two parties. For more than a decade, U.Va. has owned a 49 percent share of Culpeper Medical Associates, a physician practice organization.
"The residents of the greater Culpeper area will soon experience the benefits of this partnership as plans to expand the Culpeper Regional Hospital emergency room and inpatient capacity move forward, and we begin the integration of clinical services which will allow more patients to receive treatment closer to their homes," Howell said.
Initial areas of focus will include, but are not limited to, improvements in Culpeper's revenue cycle, enhanced group purchasing and increasing clinical volumes. Over the next three years, clinical technology integration, including radiology, labs and electronic medical records, will be implemented.
On Jan. 7, Kirk and Howell visited with the Culpeper Board of Supervisors at their regularly scheduled meeting, followed by a meet and greet with Culpeper health system employees over lunch. Beginning next week, channel 21 in Culpeper will be airing an interview with the two CEOs.
The University of Virginia Medical Center is an integrated network of primary and specialty care, offering services ranging from wellness programs and routine checkups to the most technologically advanced care. The Medical Center includes the main hospital and many clinics on the U.Va. Grounds, throughout Charlottesville and in neighboring counties.