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Medical

New collaborative joins 8 smaller hospitals in region to save money

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Eight rural and small-town northwest Ohio hospitals have formed a partnership to pool resources and save money, said Stan Korduki, president of Wood County Hospital.

Wood County Hospital in Bowling Green, Bellevue Hospital, Blanchard Valley Health System in Findlay, Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers of Bryan, Fulton County Health Center in Wauseon, Henry County Hospital in Napoleon, Magruder Memorial Hospital in Port Clinton and Fisher-Titus Medical Center in Norwalk have formed a new corporation, Vantage Healthcare of Ohio LLC.

Each hospital will keep its individual name but the group has pooled resources to create this new organization, which will look for ways to combine their purchasing power, Mr. Korduki said.

The company was formed in late November and each hospital in the collaborative invested $25,000 in start up money. All of the members are community hospitals that operate independently in small communities. This arrangement will allow each to have the scale of some of the larger hospital systems when purchasing health-care products for employees or when contracting with vendors to provide products such as linen services, he said.

Wood County Hospital has 560 employees and is self-insured. The collective group of hospitals has 4,000 employees, so coming together will allow the hospitals to get a better price on health insurance for employees, Mr. Korduki said.

“I think we are all in the same situation — system hospitals or independents. Health-care reform is asking us to reduce cost and raise the standard of care for patients. To solve the problem you need to be able to work together. Scale makes a difference. It brings us together around the table,” Mr. Korduki said.

Jerry Alonge, who served as a general manager for a similar hospital collaborative in Pennsylvania, will be Vantage’s general manager. He will serve as a contract worker, rather than a full-time employee. That Pennsylvania company provided a great business model that was used to help form this new company, Mr. Korduki said.

Mr. Alonge has a list of items from each hospital that he will consider over the next few months to determine ways they can work together and reduce costs.

“We are just getting started so we have a lot of ideas but nothing tangible to show what we have done already,” Mr. Korduki said.

There have been no discussions or plans developed to reduce staff as a part of this new collaboration, he said.

Contact Marlene Harris-Taylor at mtaylor@theblade.com or 419-724-6091.

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