The following list of questions and answers was provided by Lodi Health Community-Development Director Carol Farron.
July 11, 2014
What exactly are we doing?
Every few years the Lodi Health Board of Directors thoroughly examines the status of the LH system and its ability to compete in the marketplace. The primary goal in their efforts has been to continue providing the best possible care for our community and to remain independent. That has included speaking with other health systems about the possibility of affiliation. In the past the Lodi Health Board of Directors has determined that the need for affiliation wasn’t necessary because our health system was financially viable, stable and able to securely move into the future.
Why are we doing this?
Now with health-care reform and the changes in the health-care industry, the board can no longer take this stance. Through this year Lodi Health has lost millions of dollars, and due to the enormous capital and infrastructure requirements needed to compete in the post Affordable Care Act arena of health care, financially, LH cannot go it alone in the long term.
Currently, Lodi Health is fairly stable and is in a position to negotiate an affiliation with another health system from a stronger position than we would be in the future when we have further financial losses and burdens.
Who is the board?
The Lodi Health Board of Directors is composed of 17 volunteer community leaders who devote thousands of hours each year to our health system and the community. They are elected by the Lodi Memorial Hospital Association membership. They are attorneys, financial experts, engineers, physicians, civic leaders, religious leaders and executives in private businesses.
How long will an affiliation process take?
There is no set time table, but 18 months seems to have been the average experience of other hospitals and health systems.
Who are we talking to?
Lodi Health has responded to about 20 health systems who expressed interest in a possible affiliation. After careful evaluation of their resources, culture, the ability to remain independent and retain current jobs, the board has narrowed down the possibilities to three health systems. Those three are national systems with a significant West Coast presence.
Will I still have a job?
In addition to securing a strong financial future for Lodi Health, the board is equally committed to retaining the LH culture and the jobs of those who carry that culture. What we do best at LH is provide extraordinary personal, quality care of patients. That’s because they are our neighbors, our family members, our fellow congregants, our children’s teachers and others. The board recognizes that our patients are the reason we exist, but our employees are the reason we excel.
When will we know more?
As the affiliation process advances, LH board members and executives will have regular correspondence and town-hall meetings with staff and other stakeholders. The Lodi Health history has always been to share information in a timely, transparent manner. The board and leadership team is committed to that.