"Conemaugh Health System is a strong clinical organization and will be a wonderful addition to Duke LifePoint," said William J. Fulkerson Jr., M.D., executive vice president of Duke University Health System. "We look forward to the opportunity to work together to transform health care delivery in Johnstown and the greater West Central Pennsylvania region."
Both systems will now begin a process to conduct additional due diligence and negotiate the terms of a definitive agreement. While the parties will be negotiating the specific terms, there is an understanding that the definitive agreement will include the following commitments:
Commitment to quality: A leading goal of this partnership is to further enhance the quality of care Conemaugh provides. Conemaugh will participate in the Duke LifePoint Quality Program, which will link Conemaugh's hospitals to Duke LifePoint's quality and patient safety initiatives.
Employees: Duke LifePoint will commit to hire all active employees of Conemaugh in good standing when the transaction closes.
Governance: Conemaugh will maintain a local board, which will include local community members, physicians from the active medical staff, the CEO and a representative from Duke.
Services: Duke LifePoint and Conemaugh will maintain and, if needed, expand the Lype and scope of existing clinical services available for the region.
Information technology integration: Duke LifePoint will commit to further deVeloping Conemaugh's information system and related technology infrastructure.
Graduate education: Duke LifePoint will commit to helping develop and expand graduate residency, nursing and allied health programs at Conemaugh.
Maintaining charity care: Duke LifePoint will assume Conemaugh's charity-care policy when the acquisition is completed.
Financial impact: Duke LifePoint will invest more than half a billion dollars over ten years to fund outpatient and inpatient care facilities, technology, equipment and physician recruitment. This includes investments within the next two years to build outpatient centers in Richland and Ebensburg and a medical education conference center, and to enhance the system's informational technology platform.