The St. Bernard Parish Hospital Service District Board has approved a Strategic Partnership with Ochsner Health System (Ochsner) to continue the day-to-day management of St. Bernard Parish Hospital (SBPH). This long-term agreement will enable Ochsner, the Hospital Board and SBPH to stabilize the hospital and improve clinical and operational programs while building upon the opportunities identified during the 90-Day Assessment and the more than $2 million realized in operational savings since the cooperative endeavor agreement was signed in October 2016.
“Today’s partnership announcement between the St. Bernard Parish Hospital Service District and Ochsner Health System marks the beginning of a new chapter for St. Bernard Parish Hospital and signifies a commitment to building a stronger and healthier Louisiana,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “Through the collaboration and partnership of all involved, St. Bernard Parish Hospital is well-positioned to continue to provide critical primary and specialty care to the St. Bernard community.”
“Over the last several months, Ochsner has proven its commitment to St. Bernard Parish by finding strong solutions for the financial and operational challenges facing our hospital,” said St. Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis. “Maintaining care and preserving local jobs are critical to our citizens in St. Bernard Parish. We look forward to working with Ochsner to improve healthcare in our community for years to come.”
Under the cooperative endeavor agreement, Ochsner has already begun to expand access to care by launching TeleStroke and TelePsych programs at St. Bernard Parish Hospital through Ochsner CareConnect 360. Using telemedicine capabilities, Ochsner provides expert neurovascular and psychiatric care coverage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to the patients at St. Bernard. Through this partnership, St. Bernard Parish Hospital is one of the 40 hospitals across the state of Louisiana using Ochsner’s life-saving TeleStroke program when treatment is a race against the clock.
“Ochsner has been instrumental in stabilizing St. Bernard Parish Hospital through their operational expertise, clinical resources and leadership,” said Mary Hand, St. Bernard Parish Hospital Service District Board Chairwoman. “We look forward to continuing this strategic partnership with Ochsner, a national quality leader and proven partner to community hospitals, to ensure SBPH fulfills its mission of providing quality and cost-effective healthcare services to the residents of St. Bernard Parish.”
The new agreement will enable St. Bernard Parish Hospital and Ochsner to continue to expand clinical services, share resources, create operational synergies and expand access, positioning SBPH for success in the new value-based healthcare environment. In November, Ochsner will open a new health center in the SBPH Medical Office Building with women’s services and a multi-specialty clinic, so patients in St. Bernard can receive care close to home. Cardiology (General and Interventional), General Surgery, Pain Management, Colon/Rectal and Ocular Plastics (Ophthalmology subspecialty) will be the first services offered in the multi-specialty clinic.
As part of the agreement, Ochsner will also install and implement Epic, best in-class electronic healthcare information software to improve care coordination. This will also allow for St. Bernard Parish Hospital patients to have better access to their own health information through Epic’s patient portal, MyChart.
Kim Keene, who has been serving as interim CEO, will officially assume the role of CEO when the agreement is fully implemented on November 5, 2017.
“As a leading healthcare organization, we take seriously our responsibility to help others improve the delivery of healthcare and to make our communities healthier,” said Warner Thomas, President and CEO, Ochsner Health System. “We are firmly committed to working with the St. Bernard Parish Hospital Board and community leaders to ensure residents of the parish have the convenience of being treated close to home while gaining better access to the depth and breadth of care for which Ochsner is nationally recognized.” Under this management agreement, Ochsner will provide management services to St. Bernard Parish Hospital. The St. Bernard Parish Hospital Service District will continue to own the hospital and govern the hospital’s operations.