WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Davie County Commissioners have voted to revise the agreement with Davie County Emergency Health Corporation (parent organization of Davie County Hospital).
“The transition is consistent with the original plans for Davie County Hospital and is based on the positive results during recent years,” said Davie County Manager, Terry L. Bralley.
Under the revised agreement, Davie County Hospital’s board of trustees will become more self-governing—appointing their own members. Currently, board members are appointed by county commissioners. The hospital will also enter a three-phase management agreement with North Carolina Baptist Hospital.
“We have witnessed steady growth in services at Davie County Hospital since we were invited into this community,” said Len B. Preslar, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Baptist Hospital. “We value the services provided by rural hospitals in our region and our hope is that we can continue to support the work being done in Davie County so its residents can feel confident that their health-care needs can be met within their community.”
In December 2001, Baptist Hospital entered an agreement with Davie County Commissioners to provide hospital management services. At that time, the rural hospital only provided an urgent care facility 14 hours a day. There were no inpatient services, no surgical services and only limited outpatient services.
Since Baptist Hospital accepted management responsibilities at Davie County Hospital, the facility was awarded Critical Access Hospital designation. The Critical Access Hospital Program was created by the 1997 federal Balanced Budget Act as a safety net device, to assure Medicare beneficiaries access to health care services in rural areas. It was designed to allow more flexible staffing options relative to community need, simplify billing methods and create incentives to develop local integrated health delivery systems, including acute, primary, emergency and long-term care.
Under Baptist Hospital’s leadership, Davie County Hospital also instituted a 25-bed inpatient service, added surgical, emergency and urgent care services and increased the number of outpatient clinics. During fiscal year 2005, the hospital provided 2,462 days of inpatient care, 12,329 emergency/urgent care visits and maintained an average length of stay of less than four days (3.42).
Baptist Hospital has presented a three-phase management strategy to Davie County Hospital to ensure long-term growth and development at the rural hospital. During the next twelve months, the hospitals will address physician manpower opportunities, assess Davie County Hospital facilities, and develop a long-term plan for future relationships.
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Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,187 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.