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05/15/2018

Exeter Health Resources, Massachusetts General Hospital and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital Announce Plans to Explore Regional Network Opportunity

Exeter Health Resources, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital have signed a letter of intent to explore opportunities to develop a new regional network to collaboratively deliver health care within the Seacoast Region. A new regional non-profit corporation will be developed that serves as the parent to Exeter Health Resources and Wentworth-Douglass, and the new corporation will be a subsidiary of Mass General.

As part of the process, the organizations will look at ways to support a shared vison of strengthening, enhancing, and growing clinical programs and services to best meet the health care needs of the Seacoast community, while providing care in a cost-effective, coordinated and sustainable manner.

The boards of each of the organizations, in separate meetings, authorized the letter of intent and the three health systems will now focus on a robust due diligence phase. Assuming successful results of due diligence, the parties will work together to negotiate and develop a definitive agreement which will be subject to review by state and federal regulatory agencies. The diligence and regulatory review process is expected to take 15 – 18 months.

During this time, community forums will be hosted in the Seacoast Region, and the three health systems will invite residents to ask questions and learn more about the proposed network.

Since joining Mass General, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital has begun implementation of a new, system-wide electronic medical record system and business support applications to create a more seamless experience for patients. In addition, the two organizations have collaborated on clinical program development, adding new specialized programs in epilepsy treatment, congestive heart failure, and electrophysiology. “When we joined Mass General, our vision was to bring greater access to the highest-quality clinical care in the region; to develop the most qualified and capable physician network supported by the most sophisticated technology and advanced health records systems – and to continue to deliver care locally,” says Greg Walker, president and CEO of Wentworth-Douglass Hospital.

That vision is shared by Kevin Callahan, president and CEO of Exeter Health Resources. “We believe that through the creation of a new integrated regional health care network, Exeter Health Resources, Inc. and its affiliates, Exeter Hospital, Inc., Core Physicians, LLC and Rockingham VNA & Hospice can not only advance their collective mission of improving the health of the community through the provision of high quality health care services, but also position our organization to thrive in the future. Importantly, developing this regional health care delivery network in collaboration with Wentworth-Douglass and Mass General combines the outstanding qualities of those institutions with those of Exeter Health Resources and creates a new pathway for Seacoast communities to access high value health care – from primary care to the most advanced care available.”

Commitment to improving the health and well-being of residents in their local communities is a goal shared by all three institutions, says Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president. “For more than a decade, we have enjoyed a successful clinical affiliation with Exeter Health Resources and last year we were honored to expand our relationship with Wentworth-Douglass. We look forward to future discussions to explore how – together – we can focus on enhancing care and extending access, availability of services, and slowing the rate of rising health care costs.”

ABOUT THE PARTIES:

Exeter Health Resources consists of three operating affiliates, Exeter Hospital, Core Physicians and Rockingham Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice. We employ more than 2,300 staff members. Exeter Hospital is a not-for-profit, 100 bed, community-based hospital with extensive outpatient programs in surgery, radiation and medical oncology, and cardiac catheterization. Exeter Hospital was awarded Magnet® designation in 2015 and was re-designated in April 2018. The healthcare system has been recognized for ten years by the American Hospital Association’s Health Forum as a “Most Wired” organization.

Core Physicians is a community-based, multi-specialty group practice affiliated with Exeter Health Resources. Over 140 physicians and advance practice clinicians in more than 25 locations offering services in primary care, pediatrics, orthopedics, gastroenterology and many other medical and surgical specialties. Rockingham Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice is a community based, non-profit home health and hospice agency that provides services throughout Rockingham County and into Stratford County.

Founded in 1811, the Massachusetts General Hospital is the oldest and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The 999-bed medical center each year admits more than 50,000 inpatients, handles more than 1.5 million visits to its extensive outpatient programs at the main campus and four health centers, and records more than 108,714 emergency visits. The surgical staff perform more than 42,000 operations annually, and the MGH Vincent Obstetrics Service delivers nearly 3,900 babies a year. The largest nongovernment employer in the city of Boston, the MGH has more than 26,000 employees, including more than 5,296 registered nurses. MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of more than $900 million. MGH and Brigham and Women's Hospital are founding members of Partners HealthCare System, a Boston-based integrated health care delivery system. In 2003, MGH became the first hospital in the state to be awarded Magnet designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. In August 2017 the MGH was once again named to the Honor Roll in the U.S. News & World Report list of "America's Best Hospitals."

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit charitable health care organization located in the Seacoast community of Dover, New Hampshire with over a 110-year history of compassionate care and innovation. Serving its communities since 1906, it is a family of almost 400 providers and over 2,300 employees including 500 registered nurses and over 200 volunteers dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of residents and visitors to the Seacoast area of New Hampshire and Southern Maine. Wentworth-Douglass Hospital was awarded Magnet® designation in 2016, joined the Massachusetts General Hospital family in 2017 and includes a 178-bed hospital, several urgent care and walk-in facilities, multiple testing centers, Wentworth Health Partners (primary and specialty providers located at 30+ practices),and the Wentworth-Douglass Foundation.