Yampa Valley Medical Center poised to open new chapter with UCHealth | SteamboatToday.com

Yampa Valley Medical Center poised to open new chapter with UCHealth

Yampa Valley Medical Center CEO Frank May talks about the Steamboat Springs hospital's merger with UCHealth.

The Yampa Valley Medical Center signed a document Wednesday that CEO Frank May said will allow the Steamboat Springs hospital to continue to provide quality care in the Yampa Valley and lay groundwork for the future.

"What we were looking for is really kind of pulling together the Triple Aim model," May said Thursday morning. "This is really about making sure that people are taken care of on an individual level, that we are reaching out in the community to create a better health care environment and the cost and value of health care are what they need it to be."

The Yampa Valley Medical Center and UCHealth reached the agreement Wednesday evening and announced the already anticipated merger between the two nonprofits early Thursday.

The agreement includes more than $105 million in investments into the YVMC community from UCHealth, including a significant donation to the YVMC Foundation, resources for an expanded emergency department, ongoing infrastructure improvements and resources for additional behavioral health and substance abuse work, according to a news release.

The organizations said the agreement will provide a broader network of care, with increased access to sub-specialists and better coordination of care should they need to travel to Denver.

"A person coming through the doors is not really not going to see, on the surface, a lot of things that are different," he said. "We are going to continue to be able to deliver the quality of care people have come to expect in this community."

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May added that he expects the merger with UCHealth to streamline care, provide more cost-effective care and create an infrastructure where providers know more about what is going on with patients the minute they arrive.

"We started this process about a year ago. It goes back to our board retreat in June of last year where we decided to move forward,” May explained. “We went through that process, and then the first of March, we announced the letter of intent with UCHeath and that triggered the due diligence that we have been going through. Now that we signed that agreement, the next step is going to be a regulatory review. Basically a review to make sure that the two of us, as nonprofits coming together, will not create any kind of a challenge form the standpoint of an anti-competitive situation."

YVMC will become one of eight hospitals in the UCHealth system.

The YVMC's board of trustees will continue to provide local governance, and the local hospital’s 580 employees will become employees of UCHealth.

“We are excited to welcomeYVMC, their patients, employees and providers into the UCHealth family," said Elizabeth Concordia, UCHealth president and CEO, in a news release. "UCHealth believes in providing advanced care close to home, and we'll be looking for opportunities to continue YVMC's growth and tradition of excellence while adding new services and access to specialists for patients in this region."

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966