The MedWest board and Carolinas HealthCare System recently retained an independent consulting firm “to assist in the process of our hospitals moving forward from a structural perspective,” according to a statement from MedWest Health System.
The consulting firm, Stroudwater Associates, will work with the boards, senior management and medical staff to “review and evaluate the market position of MedWest in relation to national and regional trends as a result of health reform, market demand, competitive challenges, referral patterns and the like to determine future expected volumes for the system,” according to the statement.
MedWest-Harris administrators declined to further comment or elaborate.
The move comes as MedWest weighs whether its hospitals in Sylva and Bryson City should separate from MedWest-Haywood.
The consulting firm has specific expertise in hospital governance and hospital affiliation matters, according to the statement.
MedWest was formed in January 2010 with the affiliation of WestCare – Harris and Swain hospitals – with Haywood Regional Medical Center. WestCare’s board in September voted to terminate the relationship with MedWest.
Among other reasons, WestCare board members said they wanted out of the deal because of poorer than expected financial performances by the three hospitals.
The MedWest board must approve the WestCare action by a three-fourths vote before the partnership agreement can be dissolved. When or if that vote will be taken has not been made public.