Negotiations continue on medical facility merger |

Negotiations continue on medical facility merger

by Christy Chalmers, staff writer

A deal that would give Washoe Health Systems a 50 percent stake in the Carson Valley Medical Center could be complete Sept. 1.

Negotiations on the arrangement have been going for several months. Bill Gordon, chief executive officer of Barton Memorial Hospital, the medical center’s parent, said the partnership will affect only the medical center and its associated home health and hospice services.

But it will also mean more capital that will translate into better services for Carson Valley residents. Washoe Health is the biggest health care system in northern Nevada.

“I think what the patients will see is a better service, no question about that,” said Gordon. “The patients will be pleased with this partnership. They will have access to services and specialists that they haven’t had.”

Gordon said in January that a deal was imminent and would be complete in February because the groups had agreed on “virtually everything.”

The two have formed a new corporation to run the medical center, home health and hospice, and Gordon said a six-member board composed of three representatives from each side will oversee it.

The merger won’t extend to Barton Hospital, and it doesn’t mean an in-patient Douglas County hospital is on the horizon either, though Gordon said the idea will probably be addressed.

“We have discussed it and we have agreed that’s something to at least do a feasibility study on,” said Gordon. “(Building a hospital) is a major, major undertaking. I don’t think anyone is going to waltz in and do that. But certainly that is one thing we have looked into.”

Washoe Health officials wouldn’t comment on the merger except to acknowledge negotiations are continuing. Earlier in the year, a Washoe spokesman said a partnership would mean services wouldn’t be duplicated, as well as coordination that is cost effective and efficient.