S.C. Supreme Court rules on GHS governance changes

Greenville Health System (GHS) received a formal order today from the South Carolina Supreme Court regarding its request for a declaratory judgement stating that GHS is authorized to make changes to its governance structure. The Court denied GHS request for a declaratory judgment and also denied the Respondents’ request for an injunction prohibiting GHS from further implementing its reorganization plan.

“We believe the law is clear that GHS has the authority to move forward with its proposed governance changes. This has already been confirmed by the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office on two occasions,” said Joe Blake, vice president of legal affairs at GHS. “The Supreme Court was fully briefed on our proposed changes, legal issues and intent to move forward with the new governance model in our petition. We are pleased that, while the Court declined to hear the case in its original jurisdiction, it specifically rejects the Respondents’ request that an injunction be issued to prohibit further implementation of the reorganization by petitioner. Therefore, GHS will continue its plans to implement a new governance model.”

The new governance model is focused on improving outcomes, reducing costs and enhancing the patient experience. As part of the new model, GHS remains a public entity that leases its facilities to the Upstate Affiliate Organization, a private, not-for-profit that serves as the provider of care for the region like GHS does today. The Strategic Coordinating Organization sets the strategic direction and provides corporate support for the Upstate Affiliate Organization and any other affiliates that join the new system. The goal is to ensure healthcare decisions remain local and that high quality, affordable care is available for years to come.

“Transforming health care for the benefit of the patients and communities we serve is a responsibility we take very seriously,” said Lisa Stevens, chair of the GHS Board of Trustees. “Transforming health care is not just about the care we provide today but our ability to continue providing affordable, high quality care in the future. A rapidly changing healthcare environment requires a flexible structure, and this new structure will allow us to be more nimble and responsive to the changing healthcare needs of our patients and communities.”

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