Laurens County Health Care System Enters Affiliation Negotiations with Greenville Hospital System
Wednesday, September 26, 2012

LAURENS COUNTY, SC – The Laurens County Health Care System (LCHCS) Board of Trustees has voted to enter into exclusive affiliation negotiations with Greenville Hospital System (GHS). If the negotiations result in an agreed-upon partnership, the affiliation will assist in establishing a long-term strategy for the LCHCS’s operational and financial success and in enhancing health care services in Laurens County.

“Greenville Hospital System is a demonstrated leader in quality. The physicians and staff of GHS share common cultures and values with LCHCS and they can enhance services in our community,” said Mike Ellison, chairman of the board of the LCHCS. “We’ve spent over a year looking for the right partner, and we believe it’s time to take the next step towards partnering with Greenville Hospital System.”

The nonbinding letter of intent moves the affiliation process to the next step of negotiating a final agreement with a prospective partner. The due diligence process is expected to take several months. Once the negotiation process is complete, the affiliation partnership must be approved and finalized by the LCHCS Board of Trustees and by the GHS Board of Trustees.

“This has been a careful, disciplined process from day one,” said Ellison. In July of 2011 the LCHCS Board of Trustees began considering affiliating with another health care system after reviewing drastic changes in the federal health care system and the rising cost of delivering high-quality health care services.

“Our board’s decision to plan for the future is just a continuation of the bold leadership by past trustees who brought together (Clinton and Laurens hospitals) to form LCHCS in 1981, “said Ellison.

Last year the LCHCS Board began a deliberate, thorough search for a new partner to take LCHCS to next level. The Board decided that a partner must meet the Board’s 5-Star Relationship criteria of:

1. sharing LCHCS’ mission to deliver progressive health care in an atmosphere of continuous improvement;
2. enhancing health care services currently provided by LCHCS;
3. adding services not currently available in Laurens County;
4. being a demonstrated leader in quality; and
5. practicing values consistent with those of LCHCS to build compatibility between medical staffs.

To ensure a thorough process the board issued both a Request for Information (RFI) and a follow-up Request for Proposal (RFP) which resulted in five proposals from quality health care systems.

“After reviewing the many options with our independent consultants and health care lawyers our board sees GHS as a natural fit to sharing economies of scale, improving health services, building compatibility between medical staffs and reinforcing our mission to create and nurture a healthier Laurens County,” said Ellison.

Jerry E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Board of GHS said “LCHCS and Greenville Hospital System have long traditions of serving South Carolina communities and providing health services to all people. Together with LCHCS, I believe we will help provide the world-class, medical networks of care that Laurens County citizens expect and deserve.”

Currently, the LCHCS system includes an acute care hospital, physician network and other health care delivery organizations that work together to provide a broad range of inpatient and outpatient services.