South Ga. hospitals join massive healthcare alliance -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

South Ga. hospitals join massive healthcare alliance


Hospitals from across south and central Georgia are joining together in a new alliance to create one of the nation's largest collaborations of hospitals Tuesday morning.

The alliance, called Stratus Healthcare, is said to consist of 23 hospitals and approximately 1,500 physicians.

An official release said members of Stratus Healthcare will work together to exchange best practices, combine resources, and coordinate information systems in the process.

The alliance comes after Central Georgia Health System (CGHS) in Macon and Tift Regional Health System (TRHS) in Tifton first announced a partnership in April 2012.

Since then executives with the two health systems have worked to bring more hospitals into the fold.

Stratus Healthcare will consist of the following member hospitals and respective medical staff physicians:

  • Bleckley Memorial Hospital (Cochran)
  • Central Georgia Health System
    • Medical Center of Central Georgia (Macon)
    • Central Georgia Rehabilitation Hospital (Macon)
    • Medical Center of Peach County (Byron)
  • Coffee Regional Medical Center (Douglas)
  • Columbus Regional Health System
    • Columbus Regional Medical Center (Columbus)
    • Doctors Hospital (Columbus)
    • Hughston Hospital (Columbus)
  • Crisp Regional Hospital (Cordele)
  • Dodge County Hospital (Eastman)
  • Houston Healthcare
    • Houston Medical Center (Warner Robins)
    • Perry Hospital (Perry)
  • Jasper Memorial Hospital (Monticello)
  • Oconee Regional Medical Center (Milledgeville)
  • Putnam General Hospital (Eatonton)
  • South Georgia Medical Center Health System
    • South Georgia Medical Center (Valdosta)
    • Smith Northview Hospital (Valdosta)
    • Louis Smith Memorial Hospital (Lakeland)
    • Clinch Memorial Hospital (Homerville)
    • SGMC-Berrien Campus (Nashville)
  • Taylor Regional Hospital (Hawkinsville)
  • Tift Regional Health System
    • Tift Regional Medical Center (Tifton)
    • Cook Medical Center (Adel)


Here's more from the Stratus Healthcare news release:

Hospital and physician leaders from each hospital system assembled for a news conference in Greensboro today, stating that the goal of Stratus Healthcare is to enhance the health and wellness of residents in their communities by improving the regional coordination of medical services for patients, employers and payors.   

In the future, primary care doctors and specialists will need to work closer together on a regional scale to develop clinical guidelines and the sharing of outcomes data.  The timely exchange of electronic patient information is becoming increasingly important to improve quality and prevent duplication or over-utilization of healthcare services.  Stratus will coordinate and support physicians in this endeavor.

"Federal healthcare reform will require that medical care be reimbursed based on a fee-for-value framework rather than the fee-for-service model used in the past," said Saunders. "Stratus Healthcare will create the delivery model for this transformation."

Richardson said the name ‘Stratus' was chosen because of the upward inference of the word and the alliance's goal to strive for excellence.   "The collaborative wants to elevate health care to a higher level," said Richardson. "We wanted an organizational title that reflects our mission to enhance the health and wellness of our patients by delivering exceptional care through a connected community of physicians, hospitals and shared services. Each Stratus partner wants to add value for patients and create scale, yet realizes it could be accomplished much easier through a coordinated effort with other health care organizations."

Saunders said that forming a collaborative partnership sets the stage for innovation in the changing healthcare climate.

She added that Stratus will serve as a vehicle to keep health care local with the goal to improve outcomes, enhance the patient experience and increase efficiency as required by health care reform.

"It's about the right care, the right access at the right cost," said Saunders. "Initially, the Stratus Healthcare work groups will explore primary care, emergency medicine, hospitalist and specialty care networks to include the development of clinical guidelines, telemedicine connections, transfer arrangements and the sharing of outcomes data. Work groups will examine collective purchasing, an integrated clinical network and shared business resources."


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