August 24, 2017
TriHealth and St. Elizabeth Healthcare announced they have signed a letter of intent to create a new laboratory joint venture to offer comprehensive, high-value outpatient laboratory services to the Tri-State area.
The TriHealth/St. Elizabeth laboratory partnership will bring together TriHealth’s Oak Street outpatient laboratory operations with St. Elizabeth’s Edgewood site outpatient laboratory operations to form a single, combined laboratory organization at St. Elizabeth’s Edgewood facility. Inpatient/hospital laboratory sites and operations at TriHealth and St. Elizabeth are not part of this new partnership and will be unaffected by this change.
TriHealth’s need to vacate its leased Oak Street facility in 2018 – the current location of its outpatient laboratory – prompted the organization to explore new and innovative ways to organize and deliver its outpatient laboratory services during a time of reduced laboratory reimbursements. Following a comprehensive, year-long process to consider all viable options, a partnership with St. Elizabeth Healthcare emerged as the clear and consensus choice by all leaders, team members and physicians involved in the decision process.
“This joint venture with St. Elizabeth Healthcare will result in a premier regional laboratory organization uniquely positioned to become the high value, provider of choice for outpatient laboratory services throughout the region,” said Mark C. Clement, TriHealth President & CEO. He added, “We are excited to bring together our world-class outpatient laboratory teams and operations to advance our shared vision of better health care and greater value over the next few months.”
A letter of intent to move forward with the partnership was signed by both parties in early August. Now work is underway to establish and finalize the definitive partnership agreement and to create the partnership operational structure and transition plan. This highly collaborative work involves leaders, clinicians and team members from both organizations and will take several months. The goal is to have the definitive agreement signed by November of this year, and to have TriHealth’s Oak Street laboratory team and operations fully transitioned to St. Elizabeth’s Edgewood facility in time to launch the new partnership by May 1, 2018. During the transition period, all current outpatient laboratory operations at TriHealth and St. Elizabeth Healthcare will continue uninterrupted.
Following the transition, outpatient laboratory team members at TriHealth and St. Elizabeth will have continued employment opportunities – either within the new TriHealth/St. Elizabeth laboratory partnership or within another laboratory in one of the respective health systems. As the partnership matures, the outpatient laboratory business is expected to grow, which will create even greater employment opportunities for new team members.
“At St. Elizabeth, we are excited about the opportunity to further partner with TriHealth to provide outstanding laboratory care to the patients in our community,” said Garren Colvin, St. Elizabeth Healthcare President & CEO. “Through this collaboration, we will further strengthen our already talented teams. We will also be able to employ some of the most advanced technology in the country, standardize practices, and ultimately provide faster turnaround times. All of this will significantly reduce costs, while producing high-quality lab results and, most importantly, will provide even better patient care across the TriHealth and St. Elizabeth service areas.”
History of Successful Collaboration
The planned TriHealth/St. Elizabeth laboratory partnership builds on a long-history of successful collaborations between the two organizations. The collaborations include:
- Creation of Healthcare Solutions Network (HSN), a regional Clinically Integrated Network of 1,600+ physicians and 10 hospitals that partner with Tri-State employers and payers to improve patient care and population health, while achieving greater efficiency.
- Participation in Total Care, a narrow network insurance plan through Humana which offers reduced employee and employer premiums.
- Co-ownership of Tri-State Healthcare Laundry, formed in 1989 to serve the laundry needs of the two health systems.
In addition, St. Elizabeth and TriHealth collaborated in 2012 to support the $60 million Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) Initiative pilot awarded to the Greater Cincinnati/Dayton region by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Services. Together, the two healthcare systems accounted for nearly half of the region’s CPC Initiative practices responsible for major improvements in primary care delivery and payment models.