TELL CITY – Perry County Memorial Hospital announced its intent Tuesday to enter into a management services agreement with Evansville-based St. Vincent Hospital.

Officials said the agreement, whose final terms are being ironed out, will expand and improve services to residents provided by the Tell City hospital, provide additional organizational support to medical staff and enhance clinical services.

The management services agreement is not a merger and Perry County Memorial Hospital will continue to be managed by the hospital’s board of trustees and hospital employees will continue to report to the hospital’s leadership team. However, both hospitals will work collaboratively with physicians, clinical staff and other providers to deliver care in Perry County and surrounding areas.

The final terms of the agreement likely won’t be unveiled for several months.

“We are so excited to embark on this partnership with such a trusted healthcare system that will strengthen our ability to expand and offer specialized services that may not be viable in our area,” said Brian Herwig, chief executive officer of Perry County Memorial Hospital. “St. Vincent has played a crucial role in fostering relationships that have enabled us to expand service lines and this affiliation will ensure that we are serving our community with a full spectrum of care.”

Like many small U.S. hospitals, PCMH has faced financial strain from changes in Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement and contractual provisions with insurance companies that often reduce revenue.

For the 11 months ending in November, the hospital had total revenue of $86.1 million and income of $765,525. Income was nearly double what had been budgeted at the start of the year.

Michelle Howard, vice president of nursing services for PCMH, said the partnership will provide access to clinical knowledge, training and ongoing education that will enhance the services provided locally.

“Having a clinical affiliation with a larger hospital brings the sharing of best practices to increase clinical and operation efficiencies and to improve patient safety and overall patience experiences,” Howard said. “Our goal is to be the healthcare provider of choice for our community and this partnership will help us to better serve.”

The hospital has worked for years to grow the number of services it offers, from joint replacement to mental health.

Board of trustees chairman J.B. Land said St. Vincent, which had been known as St. Mary’s for decades, brings a long tradition of collaboration.

“We are very excited to join into this agreement with St. Vincent. We have built a strong relationship with St. Vincent over the past 25 years with the cardiology and urology services of Dr. Behrens and Dr. Gilson,” Land said. “It was a natural fit to partner and we couldn’t be happier to continue to strengthen that relationship and improve healthcare in the community.”

St. Vincent Evansville is a comprehensive network of healthcare services serving portions of Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois.

St. Vincent is also a member of Ascension Health, the nation’s largest Catholic-sponsored, nonprofit health system.
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