After several months of working on an affiliation with a larger health care organization, on March 8, 2018, the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital District Board voted unanimously to discontinue affiliation talks with Astria Health, based in central Washington.
According to SVH CEO Tom Parker, the hospital district was not coming to agreement on some major deal points, including the “retention of cash by the District and the District’s role, post transaction, with respect to community health and wellness.”
The district also had a goal of affiliating with an organization that had a well-established, recognized brand, which Astria Health did not meet.
The negotiating team, which included Board President Norris, Secretary Speikers, CEO Tom Parker and Consultants Steve Huebner and Sarah Cave, also recommending regrouping around a “Plan B” that involves reconnecting with other health care agencies that were initially interested in a possible affiliation with Snoqualmie Valley Hospital.
At the Work Study session on March 20th the board and executive team met to discuss a possible Plan B. Parker recapped the work study saying there were discussions regarding why SVH did not go forward with Astria; what they would have done differently; what goals were still important; and options for moving forward.
Additionally Parker said he received the information needed to work on the other recommendation of the negotiating team, which was to reconnect with those parties – other than Astria Health – who had initially expressed interest in an affiliation.
He said this could involve determining if there is any interest in pursuing an alternate affiliation arrangement “based on a more flexible set of transaction provisions.”
According to Parker, the district received initial interest from other hospitals and health systems, “some verbal and some in the form of a letter of interest.” He added via email, “The hospitals and systems from that group that we will be reaching out to include Evergreen Health, MultiCare Health System, Overlake Medical Center, UW Medicine, and Virginia Mason.”
Astria Health, though, was the only organization to submit a formal affiliation request to the SVH board.
Parker said board members also expressed interest during the March 20th work session in having one or more community members involved in the process “to help heighten the awareness of potential affiliate partners of the merits of the Snoqualmie Valley.”