Methodist Health to join Deaconess Health System


HENDERSON, KY – Methodist Health announced on Tuesday that the organization will join Deaconess Health System, effective July 1, 2020.

An agreement between the Deaconess Health System Board of Directors and Methodist Health Board of Directors was signed Tuesday, and the medical staff and employees of both organizations were notified this morning.

Officials say in this current fiscal year, Methodist Health has lost $8 million, a situation they say is not sustainable.

“Methodist Health patients will be able to keep their current doctors, and we will continue to accept the same insurance plans. We also anticipate growing and expanding services, particularly specialty services such as cardiology, urology, oncology, GI care and pain management, so patients in Kentucky will have to cross the bridges less often to receive quality services,” said Linda E. White, Methodist Health CEO.

Both Methodist Health Hospitals in Henderson and Union Counties, as well as outpatient clinics and facilities, will join Deaconess Health System on July 1.

“I thought it would be a lot better service with Deaconess being in there,” said Emma Wingfield of Henderson County.

“I knew it was going to happen, just didn’t know when,” adds Kathy Thompson, who retired from Methodist after working there for 35 years. She sees potential for better health care for patients.

“Deaconess is a good hospital. Methodist is a good hospital. So, put them together and you will get twice the doctors that you will go see,” she said.

The deal happens after methodist announced 21 job cuts, and an $8 million loss in this fiscal year. White says finances were one of several reasons for the agreement. Other reasons related to the community’s perception.

“As we looked at our financial condition, as we looked at our perception in the community, as we looked at opportunities to improve quality of care for every patient that trusts their life in us, we thought Deaconess was the best,” she said.

White says Methodist patients will become Deaconess patients on July 1st, and workers will become Deaconess workers that same day. A steering committee will be starting this week as the two health systems become one.

“We want the communities that we serve to continue to support Methodist in any way possible. This is a very, very good place. Excellent employees and we want to make sure our name is out there because Deaconess firmly believes that health care needs to remain local,” she says.

As for the name on their hospitals, White says no decision has been made, but they are looking at their options.

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(This story was originally published on February 11, 2020)

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