PeaceHealth & United General Hospital Take Steps to Form Alliance

10/19/2012

We have been on a journey to establish a long-term management agreement with United General Hospital​ in Sedro-Woolley to provide access to health care, building on the PeaceHealth Medical Group (PHMG) specialty care services we provide. Today, we are taking an important step on that journey.

PeaceHealth has filed a Letter of Intent with the Washington State Department of Health to pursue a Certificate of Need to transfer the bed license from United to PeaceHealth.

This begins the formal process of forming an alliance, originally proposed to us by United. If approved by governing boards for PeaceHealth – community, network, and system – and for United General, the alliance process will move forward.  We began exploring this alliance about a year ago and are taking great care to ensure that it benefits both organizations and the communities each serves, and is consistent with our mission, vision and values. 

We believe that by working together, we will be better able to leverage our collective expertise, manage costs, and provide greater care to patients through improved care delivery models and reduction of duplication and waste. It also will enhance our existing relationship with United General that began many years ago and was mostly recently supplemented with a PHMG specialty clinic on United’s campus in May 2010, staffed by Bellingham physicians who specialize in pulmonology, gastroenterology, cardiology, sleep medicine and general surgery.

The Certificate of Need process requires a formal application that the parties describe the services proposed, the estimated cost of the proposed project and the service area.  We expect to file this in late November.  The Department of Health’s review process begins once the application is filed. This normally takes about five to six months, and includes a 45-day public comment period.  Our hope is that the application and review processes can be completed by the Spring of 2013 so that United General Hospital would become PeaceHealth United General Medical Center effective July 1, 2013.​