FAQs

We know our team members, physicians, patients and the community will have many questions about this work.

Some answers we know today, but much remains to be decided. Submit your questions below and check back soon for updated questions and answers.

Has this been done before?

Yes, hospitals are partnering more and more often. It is becoming increasingly difficult for smaller rural hospitals to effectively manage the health and wellness of the populations they serve without smart, forward-looking collaborations with other healthcare organizations. As a municipally owned hospital – one of only two of left in the state – closer alignment with a larger health system isn’t legally permitted. This need was a driving factor in our decision to seek a change in ownership structure, so we can more closely align with a larger health system in order to realize the healthcare future our patients and the area deserve.

How are negotiations going? Where are we in the process?

We have not yet entered the negotiation process. Right now, Berger’s Board of Governors, the Circleville City Council and the Pickaway County Board of Commissioners are working together to align on priorities as we prepare for formal deal talks, which will likely begin in the months to come.

Do we have a sense of timing for when the deal will be finalized?

We are optimistic we’ll have a deal in place with OhioHealth or definitive plans to pursue another partner by the end of 2018.

What are the goals for this partnership?

The goals for this partnership are the same goals established by the Board in the Fall of 2013 and used throughout the RFP process:

  • Expand local primary and specialty care,
  • Increase access to talent,
  • Improve financial performance and long-term sustainability,
  • Enhance quality of care, patient safety and satisfaction,
  • Increase access to new era competencies, and
  • Build on Berger’s 87-year legacy of service to the community.

See here for more on the goals.

What happens to PERS?

Berger employees may continue to participate in PERS. Should the time come where Berger transitions to a not-for-profit, know that Ohio state law does not allow a governmental hospital – which is what Berger is today – to become a not-for-profit and take away an employee’s PERS pension.

Will Berger still accept MediGold if we align closer with a larger health system?

Yes. In October 2017, Berger and OhioHealth announced the renewal of their contracts under an unprecedented six-year deal, which allows Berger to transition the contracts to another party. So, if Berger aligns with a larger organization, the larger organization will honor the Berger and MediGold contract ensuring Pickaway County residents with MediGold can receive care locally.

Who will be involved in the negotiations?

Representatives from Berger’s Board of Governors, the Circleville City Council and the Pickaway County Board of Commissioners will join Tim Colburn, CEO of Berger Health System, in the negotiating process.

Does anything change for patients and the community?

Nothing will change immediately. When we finalize a deal with a larger health system, patients and our community can expect to see direct benefits, such as:

  • More healthcare services offered locally.
  • Additional physicians will be recruited and we would better retain the physicians we have so that we all have faster access to local care.
  • Berger would be stronger financially as part of a larger health system, so the hospital could remain a top employer and one of our community’s most vital economic partners (providing over $42 million annually to the local economy).
Does anything change for employees or physicians?

Nothing will change immediately. When we finalize a deal with a larger health system, Berger’s employees and physicians can expect to see direct benefits, such as:

  • Increased professional training/development opportunities.
  • Enhanced recruitment and retention for providers and clinical staff.
  • New and improved ways to collaborate with a larger network of medical staff.
  • Strengthened job security.
  • Ability to weather the changes and challenges facing all hospitals (there is more security in being part of a large system, they have the resources needed to evolve and grow).
What happens if we can't reach a deal with OhioHealth?

If we do not reach a deal with OhioHealth, we will seek another partner who shares our values, passion for high-quality local healthcare and commitment to the long-term success of our community.  That said, we are optimistic we’ll have a deal in place with OhioHealth or – should a deal be unable to be reached with OhioHealth – definitive plans to pursue another partner by the end of 2018.

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