Nash Health Care Systems partners with UNC

Nash Health Care Systems has signed an agreement with UNC Health Care to have it provide management and operational services for the 403-bed hospital system beginning April 1.

The agreement doesn’t involve the sale of any assets. Nash will purchase a set of services from UNC for an annual fee.

Those services include improving how Nash measures the outcomes of patients treated within its system, reducing operating costs, increasing revenues and collections, and recruiting new physicians.

Nash County officials said in a statement that the agreement with UNC would allow the system to achieve greater cost savings and deliver better care to patients. The agreement with UNC came after Nash issued a request for proposals in June to UNC and four other regional hospital systems.

“After review of the proposals, it was clear that UNC Health Care is the right partner to help strengthen and guide our organization into the future,” said Vincent C. Andracchio II, Chairman of the Nash Health Care Systems Board of Commissioners, in a statement.

Many smaller health care systems have chosen to merge or affiliate with larger systems as they attempt to navigate a rapidly changing health care landscape.

Among the biggest challenges is adjusting to changes in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements that are being driven by the Affordable Care Act. The law is designed to reward doctors and hospitals for reducing unnecessary procedures and taking proactive steps to limit costly hospital admissions.

Nash Health Care Systems operates five hospitals: Nash General Hospital, Nash Day Hospital, the Bryant T. Aldridge Rehabilitation Center, Community Hospital and Coastal Plain Hospital.

Under its agreement with UNC, Nash’s CEO will become an employee of UNC and report to both a local hospital board and UNC. UNC has a similar agreement with Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville.

Raleigh-based WakeMed also has a similar management services agreement with the Harnett Health System.