Elliot Health System and Southern NH Health sign letter of intent to explore forming regional healthcare system

"An important first step to strengthen both SNHH and Elliot, so that we may work together to serve our communities together for years to come."

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MANCHESTER, NH – Elliot Health System of Manchester and Southern New Hampshire Health System of Nashua on June 20 announced that they have signed a Letter of Intent to explore combining to form a regional healthcare system.  The Letter of Intent contemplates the formation of a new non-profit organization that would implement an integrated governance system, and also that Elliot and SNHH would each retain their respective names, identities, and local governance structures as independently licensed organizations.

The Letter of Intent requires the parties to work together on an exclusive basis to complete due diligence and negotiate a final, binding combination agreement.  Any final agreement would be subject to approval by both the Elliot and SNHH Boards of Trustees and by various government agencies, including the New Hampshire Department of Justice.

In a joint statement, both Elliot President and CEO Doug Dean and SNHH President and CEO Mike Rose stated that this represents “an important first step to strengthen both SNHH and Elliot, so that we may work together to serve our communities together for years to come.”

“By signing this Letter of Intent, we affirm our shared commitment to strengthening and expanding our charitable missions to provide the very best healthcare possible to the communities we serve, where and how it is needed most. This approach anticipates a solution to address the increasingly complex health care challenges faced by hospitals in New Hampshire and around the country.  In a rapidly changing healthcare service environment, our commitment expressed in this Letter of Intent is to develop a highly-coordinated, community-based regional health care network that would enhance access to affordable care while ensuring quality of care delivered throughout southern New Hampshire.” 

The Elliot and SNHH Boards of Trustees were each actively engaged in discussions that led to their approval of the Letter of Intent.

“Our boards unanimously supported and authorized the Letter of Intent because we recognize that this proposed combination could strengthen both organizations at a time when economic pressures are challenging patients and their providers,” says Tim Sullivan, Chairman of the SNHH Board of Trustees. “In southern New Hampshire, we are facing the fact that we simultaneously have a rapidly growing population of baby-boomers who require easy and affordable access to quality care and a concern that one organization alone may not be able to provide all that is necessary in the future.   Our compatible missions and shared values allow us to work together to meet these and other critical needs, including mental health, while ensuring long-term organizational sustainability.”

“Population health management is a key attribute of this combination,” says Elliot Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gregory Baxter.  “By aligning our technology and care delivery systems to collect and compile data that gives us insight into the needs of our patients and communities, we would be able to collaborate on models of coordinated care delivery and an expanded scope of services for more than half a million residents in our combined service areas.”

“Although we serve separate communities, we are close enough geographically to take advantage of many synergies,” says Jim Hood, Chairman of the Elliot Health System Board of Directors. “The Elliot Board is very enthusiastic about this combination because it would allow us to develop programs to meet increasing community needs, share best practices to improve care, acquire, implement and optimize state-of-the-art health information technology, and secure greater access to resources needed to support the charitable and community-focused missions of both systems, all while enhancing the value of healthcare for our citizens in the years to come.”

Elliot and SNHH have created a website to provide public information, documents, plans and details on the proposed combination, including the Letter of Intent announced today. The website   – www.nhregionalhealthcare.org – will continue to be updated as discussions proceed and will include schedules and information on meetings and open forums for the public to share comments and questions.

While both organizations will now focus on continuing their review of all aspects of the proposed combination and developing a Definitive Agreement, both Dean and Rose point to the public aspects of this process as essential. “Today, we are starting an important conversation with our 6,000 employees and providers, our communities, our civic and legislative leaders and the general public,” says Rose.  “I’m proud of our Boards and the efforts of the leadership teams on both sides,” says Dean.  “This combination would allow us to grow in the clinical setting while availing ourselves of efficiencies that would not be possible if we remained independent.  The beneficiaries of our efforts will be the people who come to us for care, and I could not be more excited to announce a strategy for New Hampshire that is based on mutuality, respect, vision and courage to do what we know creates real solutions for the healthcare challenges facing all of us.”

Concludes Rose, “Over the coming weeks, we look forward to reaching out to our communities, including state and local officials, to seek input regarding our vision for strengthening the health and well-being of our communities to assure affordability and easy access to comprehensive and high quality health care that has defined each of our organizations for more than 125 years.”

About Elliot Health System

Elliot Health System is a non-profit organization serving the healthcare needs of the community since 1890. The largest provider of comprehensive healthcare services in Southern New Hampshire, Elliot Hospital, a 296-bed acute care facility and the first community hospital in the state, serves as the cornerstone of the health system.  Elliot is home to Manchester’s designated Regional Trauma Center, Elliot Breast Health Center, Elliot Urgent Care, a Level 3 Newborn Intensive Care Unit, Elliot Behavioral Health Services, Elliot Regional Cancer Center, Elliot Senior Health Center, Visiting Nurse Association of Manchester and Southern New Hampshire, 1-Day Surgery Center, Elliot Memory & Mobility Center, Elliot Retail Pharmacy, Elliot Medical Centers in Londonderry and Hooksett, and The Elliot at River’s Edge. Elliot has primary care providers and specialists throughout southern NH as part of the Elliot Physician Network.  For more information about any of Elliot’s services visit www.elliothospital.org.

About Southern New Hampshire Health

Southern New Hampshire Health is a non-profit organization serving the healthcare needs of the community since 1892 and is comprised of Southern New Hampshire Medical Center and Foundation Medical Partners.  SNHH is Massachusetts General Hospital’s first clinical affiliate in the region. SNHMC is a 188-bed facility that has two campuses in Nashua.  Foundation Medical Partners is a multi-specialty physician group practice with more than 300 primary care and specialty care providers who serve patients in 32 communities across southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts.  SNHH also offers urgent, walk-in care through 7 Immediate Care locations. Through SNHH’s MGH affiliation, patients have easy access to advanced clinical expertise in areas including stroke, cancer, trauma and pediatric specialties. Together, SNHMC and Foundation Medical Partners comprise an organization working collaboratively to achieve the mission of maintaining and preserving the overall health of individuals living in the communities it serves.

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