Palm Drive affiliates with Marin General

[caption id="attachment_46174" align="alignright" width="313" caption="Palm Drive Hospital is now affiliated with a network that includes Marin General Hospital, Sonoma Valley Hospital and Prima Medical Foundation."][/caption]

SEBASTOPOL -- The Palm Drive Healthcare District on Monday night unanimously approved an affiliation agreement with Marin General Hospital, a move that district officials hope will help Palm Drive Hospital achieve long-term financial stability.

The district board's 5-0 action is aimed at firming up finances by aligning Palm Drive with an expanding network of district hospitals, all benefiting from shared and consolidated services, the officials said.

To allow the Marin General negotiations to move forward, the Palm Drive board also unanimously approved an agreement to let HealthTech, the current operator of the hospital, transition away from the 37-bed facility.

Starting Jan. 1, HealthTech will assist in the four-month shift to Marin General, with the current top executive and financial officers consulting on an as-needed basis. CEO Rich Polheber will receive four months of severance pay and benefits, and CFO David Glassburn, one month.

The HealthTech contract was set to expire in November 2012, but the new agreement accelerates that.

Tennessee-based HealthTech assisted the hospital in identifying a long-term affiliation. Greenbrae-based Marin General, a much larger district hospital, emerged in recent months as the preferred partner.

The Marin hospital was preferred for a number of reasons. Chief among them was a similar affiliation agreement with Sonoma Valley Hospital earlier this year.

"Marin General has a managed services agreement with Sonoma Valley Hospital," said Palm Drive board President Nancy Dobbs. "Our agreement makes it a three-district hospital network. The strength between the three of us is really an attractive element of this proposal."

For $15,000 a month, Marin General, itself a district hospital, will oversee potentially consolidated services that include the finance department, information technology systems, patient accounting, purchasing, human resources management, clinical departments such as lab, pharmacy and radiology. Marin General would also provide Palm Drive's chief financial officer.

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