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Lodi Memorial Hospital expands services through its new partnerships

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Posted: Saturday, November 19, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 7:23 am, Sat Nov 19, 2011.

Lodi Memorial Hospital has announced a new partnership with Regent Surgical Health and 17 area physicians. It is with the hope that patient care will improve, since providers will be able to talk to one another about the patients via electronic medical records and align great care, said hospital spokeswoman Carol Farron.

The move will also strengthen the hospital's mission to serve the community with local doctors, according to Joe Harrington, hospital president and chief executive officer.

Under the joint venture announced this week, Lodi Outpatient Surgical Center and the Endoscopy Center of Lodi will now come under the umbrella of Regent Surgical Health. The organization is a surgery-center management and development company that specializes in hospital/ physician joint ventures.

"This relationship is important, not only to the partners, but to residents of the hospital's five-county service area." Harrington said in a prepared statement.

"Our community is best served by local doctors, a local hospital and local resources. This new partnership strengthens the ability of Lodi Memorial and 17 specialty physicians to work together as our community readies for health reform. This is a win, win, win — for the hospital, physicians and our community."

Farron said patients will likely not notice a difference when they undergo outpatient surgery or procedures at either location. Duplication of services will also be avoided through the partnership.

But behind-the-scenes patient care will improve, because doctors can discuss and align care and lower costs, she added.

Federal health care reform require providers all work together to keep costs down and quality up. To do this, the government has established a series of metrics that doctors, hospitals, outpatient centers and others must strive for if they hope to be reimbursed at the highest rates, according to Farron.

This venture is a step in that direction.

The partnership also expands access to an estimated 300,000 patients in the Lodi area, according to Lodi Surgical Associates CEO Erick Albert, who is also an urologist.

Lodi Memorial Hospital and Regent Surgical Health will retain 51 percent of the for-profit corporation's shares, and the physicians will retain the remaining 49.

The Lodi Outpatient Surgical Center was opened in 1984 to perform outpatient surgical procedures by Lodi Surgical Associates, a group of five local physicians.

Regent Surgical Health manages and invests in surgery centers throughout the nation. Among its partners are OhioHealth, Kettering Health Network, St. Mary's Regional Medical Center and Palos Community Hospital.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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