Wyoming County Community Health System is line to become the third area outlying health system to affiliate with the University of Rochester Medical Center, WCCHS officials said Wednesday.
WCCHS’ board on Wednesday announced that it had voted unanimously to authorize WCCHS CEO Donald Eichenauer to negotiate an affiliation pact with URMC. In joining forces with URMC, the Wyoming County health system would follow Canandaigua-based Thompson Health System and Lakeside Health System in Brockport.
A work group of Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency’s 2020 Performance Commission has been looking at challenges faced by area rural and outlying health systems and meeting with several outlying systems’ officials for some months.
“It was ultimately decided that URMC is in a unique position in upstate New York to assist us by filling gaps in specialty care, providing administrative expertise as we face the challenges of health care reform, and enabling us to provide more comprehensive care to Wyoming County residents here at our Warsaw facility,” Eichenauer said in a statement.
The region’s outlying hospitals are often under occupied, making it hard for them maintain services and retain and attract adequate medical staff. Affiliations with larger, city health systems can give the outlying systems access to staff and resources they otherwise could not muster.
Other area providers that have made similar arrangements include Rochester General Health System, which has alliances with United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia and Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca.
Auburn Community Hospital in Cayuga County also had explored an affiliation with RGHS but called off a deal last month after a four-month due-diligence period. Auburn Community officials said they still planned to seek an affiliation with some larger system.
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