Yampa Valley Medical Center pursues merger with UCHealth | VailDaily.com

Yampa Valley Medical Center pursues merger with UCHealth

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Officials with Yampa Valley Medical Center announced this morning that the Steamboat Springs-based hospital is pursuing a merger with the UCHealth hospital system.

The Front Range-based system includes Memorial Hospital, Poudre Valley Hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies, UCHealth Medical Group, Broomfield Hospital, Grandview Hospital and University of Colorado Hospital.

YVMC officials said in an announcement on their website that the partnership would be "similar to a merger," with YVMC becoming part of UCHealth.

"We have signed a non-binding letter of intent to explore a partnership with UCHealth," officials said in the announcement.

If an agreement is reached, YVMC employees would become employees of UCHealth, and the two organizations would consolidate their balance sheets, according to an FAQ attached to the announcement.

Hospital officials said the partnership would allow YVMC to continue its growth as a hub of advanced care for patients throughout the region, allowing the hospital to offer lower costs and increased access to healthcare.

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YVMC in July announced its intent to seek out a Front Range hospital partner as part of its new strategic plan, though at the time hospital officials said the arrangement would not be monetary and would involve an agreement to refer patients to the Front Range hospital system.

Under the proposed partnership announced Wednesday, YVMC would become a part of UCHealth and finances consolidated.

"As we began the process to establish a Front Range partner, it became evident that if YVMC was going to continue to provide the same high quality health care our patients have come to expect and deserve to receive, this needed to be more than a casual affiliation," officials said in their website announcement. "After an extensive research and review process, YVMC's Board of Trustees decided this kind of partnership with UCHealth would be the best option for our patients, staff and providers."

YVMC officials said they expect the process of negotiations with UCHealth to continue through the second quarter of 2017. At the conclusion of this process, YVMC would become part of the UCHealth system.

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