Nick Learned, Townsquare Media

Ivinson Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees has voted to begin exploring options to change the hospital’s operating structure to a 501(c)(3) non-profit hospital.

The proposal will involve a process that will take several months and includes the board further evaluating the structure and seeking approval of the Albany County Commissioners, as required by state law.

The board said future challenges posed by a rapidly changing healthcare environment prompted the proposed change.

“There are many challenges ahead for rural hospitals, in particular, the move away from free-for-service to value-based reimbursements, as well as expected funding cuts from Medicaid and Medicare,” sadi IMH Board of Trustees President Guy Warpness in a news release.  “To be able to weather the future changes in health care, Ivinson will need to be more nimble in order to respond to the new market realities while continuing to improve the quality of care IMH provides.”

The motivation to consider alternative options began as the result of an assessment conducted in 2015 by the American Hospital Association Center for Healthcare Governance, working sessions and the the advice of consulting firms who completed comparison studies of similar sized hospitals in the region.

IMH has established employee forums, meetings with local physicians, community feedback sessions and a public link to help answer questions and provide more information.