Maintaining mission and ensuring a high quality hospital is available within the community is central to the decision-making process for Nanticoke Health Services’ Board of Directors and Leadership Team.
Rural health organizations, such as Nanticoke, commonly work with partner organizations to close gaps in care and gain access to necessary resources. These partnerships help ensure the best possible care continues to be available for our community, long into the future.
On January 2, 2020, Nanticoke Health Services, and Peninsula Regional Health System (PRHS), announced that the affiliation of the two health services passed final state and federal regulatory approval.
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, the Nanticoke Physician Network, and all other Nanticoke healthcare services have joined the Peninsula Regional Health System. McCready Health of Crisfield, MD, is expected to merge later this year. The result is the creation of a revolutionary new health system designed to enhance inpatient, outpatient and emergency care, and wellness services across the entire Delmarva Peninsula.
As a member of our community, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions below to learn more about this affiliation. If you have any questions about this document, please call us at 302-629-6611, ext. 8950.
Nanticoke Part of Peninsula Regional Health System:
Frequently Asked Questions
What does this announcement mean? Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, the Nanticoke Physician Network, and all other Nanticoke healthcare services have joined the Peninsula Regional Health System. Together we will build a new health system that includes Nanticoke, Peninsula Regional, McCready Health of Crisfield, MD, a physician enterprise and many other health-related services. We have been actively collaborating to affiliate and create a new health system for some time. As of January 1, all of the entities of Nanticoke Health Services have officially aligned under the Peninsula Regional Health System corporate umbrella. McCready is expected to join the organization later this year.
Does this mean Nanticoke and Peninsula Regional are one organization? YES! After much anticipation, we are now one healthcare organization. All of the state and federal regulatory approvals are complete, and Nanticoke has officially joined the Peninsula Regional Health System.
With all the changes, who is in charge? Steve Leonard, Ph.D., MBA, FACHE, is the President/CEO of Peninsula Regional Health System (PRHS). Penny Short, MN, RN, is the President of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital and a Senior Vice President for PRHS. As many of you already know, Steve Rose, MN, RN is retiring at the end of January. Because Nanticoke Health Services is no longer a stand-alone corporation, it does not require a separate CEO. Mr. Leonard assumes that role. While there are still reporting structures being developed, most senior leaders are in place. This leadership team includes representatives from both Nanticoke and Peninsula Regional holding senior level positions at the corporate and hospital levels.
What will the new organization look like? The affiliation is legally called a Membership Substitution. We are both Not-for-Profit businesses, so there is no real cash exchanged. Simply put, Nanticoke Health Services, our current corporate entity, goes away and is now substituted by Peninsula Regional Health System (PRHS). There are plans to re-launch the health system with a new brand by the summer of 2020. Nanticoke Memorial Hospital and Peninsula Regional Medical Center, the hospitals themselves, will keep their names. The two physician networks will become one and also get a new name that mirrors the new health system name.
EXHIBIT 1: Corporate Organizational Chart
How will the affiliation help patients? The vision of the new health system includes expanded access to care for residents across the mid-Delmarva region. With the support of Peninsula Regional through both additional investments in capital as well as gained operational efficiencies, it is expected that services in Seaford will not only remain in place, but will be enhanced. This could mean anything from additional equipment to additional services at existing locations to possibly new locations in Sussex County. Current PRMC patients will benefit from the contributions Nanticoke will make, including the outstanding patient satisfaction results achieved on that journey. While we are legally one organization, we are still very early in the process. The full strategic plan is being developed and there are many decisions to be made. The goal is to expand access to care, providing more services closer to where people live and work.
Will there be staffing changes? There are no immediate plans for big changes. The new health system will begin to look at ways to enhance services already provided by both hospitals. Eventually, the new health system will incorporate two hospitals, a freestanding medical facility (McCready), a physician enterprise and a host of other health-related sites/businesses. In total, there will be nearly 5,000 employees, which affords multiple employment opportunities across the health system.
What will happen with current partnerships and contracts? This is another one of those areas that will be worked out in more detail over the next year. Keep in mind, Nanticoke and Peninsula Regional have many contracts and it will take time for the health system to work through these. As with other areas, current partnerships and contracts will be evaluated and changes may be made at the appropriate time. Nanticoke and Peninsula Regional will continue to support our communities and local businesses.
Peninsula Regional uses Epic. Nanticoke uses Cerner. Will we go to one system? Yes, it is expected that eventually both organizations will be on one Electronic Medical Record (EMR). When and how this will occur is going to be a part of a long-term planning process. This could take up to three or four years to accomplish. Systems are very complex, and it is important that we take our time to properly plan and implement this change. We will keep patients up to date on changes that affect them as they are made.
How do you plan to grow services? There are many areas in which we believe we can work together to provide better care across the region. While much of this is to be evaluated during the integration process, we are already looking at how to improve services in Millsboro. We will also evaluate cardiology, orthopedic and other service lines to see where we can make improvements; working toward a stronger system of care by best using what both organizations have to offer. There is also a great deal of opportunity to grow our population health programs together to better manage patients across the continuum of care.
What happens next? It will take a year or two to work through the integration process. Bringing together two robust organizations takes a lot of work. We will be integrating processes, aligning protocols and policies as we are becoming one team. We are in the process of developing a new brand and merging two cultures. Integration teams from all areas across both organizations have been working to become one healthcare system for a number of months. These teams are drawing upon strengths from both organizations to develop a plan for the future. We are excited for the opportunities it will present to allow us to continue to provide better, more efficient and more effective care for our patients.