Boone hospital center considers shakeup

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COLUMBIA - The Boone Hospital Center had a public meeting Wednesday to discuss potential changes to its operation agreement.

The hospital has been working under an agreement with BJC Healthcare for 28 years, but changes to health care under the Affordable Care Act prompted hospital leadership to reconsider who operates their hospital.

"The landscape has definitely changed in health care and we have to be in a flexible position to adjust with it," said Brian Neuner, Chairman of the Boone Hospital Center Board of Trustees. "It's not that anybody has done anything wrong, it's just that this is a good time to check up."

Neuner said because Anthem is the only health care provider on the Affordable Care Act exchange in mid-Missouri, people on federal health care programs have to pay out-of-pocket if they use Boone Hospital.

The current agreement with BJC Healthcare ends December 31, 2020. If either BJC Healthcare or Boone Hospital want to get out of the agreement, they must notify the other party before December 31, 2018. If neither party says anything, the agreement will automatically renew.

The hospital is considering 5 options post-2020.

  • Keep agreement with BJC Healthcare
  • Start an agreement with Duke Lifepoint Healthcare
  • Partner with MU Health Care
  • Start an agreement with Saint Luke's Health System
  • Operate as an independent hospital

 

"We're serious about all of the options. We haven't narrowed them down. We're at a phase where we've got to present the options to our community, take the feedback," Neuner said. "Once we get that, we'll go back and discuss it amongst ourselves and decide how we want to move forward."

One of the concerns for the trustees is employment security.

"If we would have a transition, we would want the employees at Boone Hospital to go with that transition."

The public meeting was set to start at 7:00 p.m. at the ARC in Columbia. 

"These are the options we have," Neuner said. "The forum that's taking place tonight, we're simply going to educate, present the proposals, all five of the options that we have, and then we're going to take questions."

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