NHRMC partnership advisory group holds third meeting


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Discussions over whether or not to sell New Hanover Regional Medical Center continued Wednesday night as the partnership advisory group held their third meeting.

At a meeting last week, the group learned about the history of health care and NHRMC. On Wednesday night, they discussed specifics of what they want to see in a potential partner or purchaser of the hospital.

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“It’s not preconceived, there’s nobody in that room that’s financially going to benefit from anything that anybody is doing,” said NHRMC partnership advisory group co-chair Barb Biehner. “We’re just getting this started.”

The group will eventually make a recommendation to county commissioners on whether or not to sell the hospital and send out requests for proposals, or RFP’s, to at least five companies or organizations by the end of next month.

“We focused a little more on the goals and objectives of New Hanover, to then put them in an RFP, because that’s the most important process to define us,” Biehner said.

Those goals include improving access to care and wellness, advancing the value of care, achieving health equity and more.

Biehner says a sale or partnership may be necessary due to the current state of healthcare.

“You can’t cut all your reimbursements, all the changes on the federal and state level, Medicare, Medicaid, which is the biggest part of our population and will only grow going forward,” she said, “and not have some way to look at how you’re going to financially stabilize the organization.”

Another goal that would be part of the RFP revolves around staff. Hospital president and CEO John Gizdic says making sure employees are taken care of is one of his biggest concerns.

“Making sure that we’re able to continue the great culture that we have as an organization, as well as making sure our employees’ jobs, and their pay and their benefits are protected throughout this process,” Gizdic said.

Gizdic says before making a decision about partnering with or selling to any company or organization, it will be important to research their turnover rates and visit other locations to gauge what employees and locals think.

The partnership advisory group’s next meeting will be Thursday, December 5. Click here for more information.