Brooks Memorial Hospital and TLC Health Network are accelerating their integration plans, with decisions to create one joint Board of Directors, one management team plus implementing a host of operational changes to help the hospitals remain open and viable moving forward.
For the past two years, the two hospitals have been recipients of Vital Access Provider Assurance Program (VAPAP) grant funding from New York State. Designed to assist safety net hospitals that are in financial distress, the funding has allowed the two facilities to remain open despite significant financial and operational challenges.
The New York State Department of Health recently notified Brooks and TLC that the VAPAP funding for the upcoming fiscal year will be reduced, causing a shortfall of nearly $4 million for the two hospitals.
Hence, the need to expedite the already planned and approved consolidation plans.
The changes, which have been approved by both hospitals' Boards of Directors, include:
Operational changes are to include:
While these changes may be difficult, they are absolutely necessary for the hospitals to remain open.
In 2017, Brooks Memorial Hospital, TLC Health Network and Kaleida Health announced their intentions to affiliate. The vision of the three parties is to form an integrated delivery system with the Dunkirk campus taking the lead in delivering traditional, inpatient hospital services (a new hospital) and the Irving campus becoming more of an ambulatory location focusing on outpatient services, inpatient and outpatient behavioral health.
Important to note that TLC continues to navigate its bankruptcy process. They filed a motion on July 25 and have a hearing on August 14 seeking approval of a management agreement between the hospital and Kaleida Health.
Kaleida Health has been working with five Southern Tier hospitals over the past year to implement their respective affiliation agreements. A new "twin tier" network is now forming to take advantage of the capabilities and market presence of Upper Allegheny Health System (Olean and Bradford, Pa), Brooks Memorial, TLC Health Network and Cuba Memorial Hospitals.