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Rochester General Health System and Batavia's United Memorial Medical Center Announce Full Affiliation Plans

February 27, 2014

Rochester General Health System (RGHS) and United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia have confirmed their intent to formalize a comprehensive partnership. This agreement begins the process of making the Genesee County hospital a fully integrated affiliate of RGHS.

United Memorial Medical Center“Even given our sound financial position today, changes in health care will continue to negatively impact independent rural health care providers,” stated Mark Schoell, CEO, United Memorial Medical Center. “The leadership of United Memorial remains committed to providing the best for our patients, and this expanded relationship will strengthen the future of health care in Genesee County.”

The hospital’s affiliation with RGHS will lead to a continued expansion of health care services in Batavia and on-site at United Memorial, and over time will result in fewer Genesee County residents needing to leave their community for vital health care. United Memorial will maintain its name and a local board, and will continue its longstanding tradition of providing a full range of medical and acute care services in Batavia after the affiliation is formalized.

The announcement today mirrors a trend among successful hospitals and health care systems nationwide. Community hospitals continue to be impacted by changes in the business of health care, and few have the size and scale necessary to support wide breadth of specialized services and technology required today.  System affiliations address the economic realities that community hospitals face with health care reform, while ensuring patients have immediate and convenient access to a full range of primary and secondary services locally and a gateway to the best clinical care available when more highly specialized care and technology – like cardiac surgery, stroke services, neurosurgery, and other complex services – are required.

“Progressive and forward-thinking rural hospital management teams and boards like United Memorial’s continue to recognize the value in partnering with larger systems, to ensure their patients have access to a full range of highly specialized technology and physician expertise,” said Mark C. Clement, president and CEO of RGHS. “This partnership will enable the residents of Genesee County to continue to have access to and receive world-class care, right at home here at United Memorial.”

The two health care institutions are no strangers to each other, having collaborated in the areas of Cardiology, Pathology, Surgery, Urology and Gastroenterology since 2008, and most recently partnered to open a Cancer & Infusion Center at United Memorial. Rochester General and United Memorial have served residents in their respective communities for more than a century.

In making its decision to affiliate with RGHS, the United Memorial board cited the system’s longstanding focus on high-quality patient care and safety, its expertise in clinical integration, its comprehensive medical and surgical specialties that will enhance existing services available in the Batavia community, and its successful track record of collaboration with smaller acute care hospitals and physicians.

“We are creating a health care system that will serve as the future model that helps communities get healthy and stay healthy” Clement said. “We’re creating true alignment of processes and providing full access to life-saving services and exceptional patient care, no matter where you live or through which system-wide door you enter. We are committed to expanding services at United Memorial, which will serve as the western hub for all of Rochester General Health System’s services.”

RGHS operates the Sands-Constellation Heart Institute, recognized as the best in cardiac care in New York for four consecutive years by Delta CareChex quality rating group, and is the only area health system to be nationally rated by SDI – a premier health care analytics firm – as a TOP 100 Integrated Health Network each year since 2007. Integrated care networks are consistently recognized for delivering higher levels of quality, service, patient safety and efficiency. These are important factors, made even more so, as the government and insurers increasingly tie reimbursement to quality, safety, efficiency and the health of a defined patient population.

Leadership teams from both organizations will work closely together to create a formal affiliation and integration plan and to complete the required regulatory approval process, which is expected to take three to six months.

This affiliation with United Memorial aligns with and is complementary to RGHS’ current merger plans with Unity Health System. United Memorial would bring another high-quality, integrated hospital into the planned new system, enabling it to offer convenient access to exceptional, high-value care to more than a million patients throughout Monroe, Genesee, Ontario and Wayne Counties.