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HMC to be part of Morgan system (updated)

Published 4:14pm Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Huntsville Hospital is planning to reopen the former Hartselle Medical Center as a part of a system of hospitals in Morgan County, according to Nathaniel Richardson Jr., interim president of Parkway Medical Center. However, he did not indicate that it would be an inpatient facility.

That group, which has been unofficially dubbed the Morgan Health System, would include Hartselle, Parkway Medical Center and Decatur General Hospital. Although Richardson doesn’t know exactly what services will be offered in Hartselle, he does indicate that Huntsville Hospital wants to reopen the facility.

“We want to make sure that we’re not offering duplicate care in our facilities,” Richardson told the Hartselle Rotary Club on April 18. “We want to be efficient with our resources.”

Richardson said they are still researching what would be the best facility for Hartselle.

“We are doing our due diligence to investigate what is the best for Hartselle and Morgan County,” Richardson said.

Efficiency has helped Huntsville Hospital be one of the more profitable systems in Alabama. While Alabama – Morgan County in particular – receives less funding from Medicare reimbursements is lower than many parts of the nation, it is able to make up that difference with being efficient with its expenses.

“We run a very tight operation,” Richardson said. “The way that we have been successful is by keeping our expenses down.”

Richardson said Huntsville Hospital offers competitive wages for its employees and it still finds ways to invest in its facilities by upgrading equipment, improving its infrastructure to prepare for future growth.

A community-based, not-for-profit institution, Huntsville Hospital is the second largest hospital in Alabama and the eighth largest publicly owned hospital system in the nation. Huntsville Hospital employs nearly 7,000 employees and has a medical staff with more than 750 physicians. Huntsville Hospital serves as the major referral hospital and trauma center for patients throughout the Tennessee Valley and is a teaching facility for UAB’s Family Practice and Internal Medicine Residency Programs.

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