11/18/04 — Duplin General Hospital announces deal with ECU system

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Duplin General Hospital announces deal with ECU system

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on November 18, 2004 1:58 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Duplin General Hospital has chosen University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina, based in Greenville, to assist with management consulting services, strategic planning and other services with the goal of better, more efficient health care for residents in Duplin County.

The university system includes the 745-bed Pitt County Memorial Hospital. The system leases or owns five other eastern North Carolina hospitals.

The system is also affiliated with the Brody School of Medicine at ECU and works closely with private-practice physicians and other health care providers in eastern North Carolina. UHS had net patient revenues of $722.2 million in fiscal year 2004, which ended Sept. 30.

The Duplin General's board of directors voted Nov. 11 to accept UHS's proposal.

UHS and Duplin General will iron out the details of their collaboration during the next 30 to 60 days and expect to be working under their new agreement by Jan. 1.

Duplin General and UHS have worked together since signing an affiliation agreement in 1997. Examples of that cooperation include stationing an EastCare critical-care transport unit in nearby Beulaville, coordinating coverage of radiology services at Duplin General by Eastern Radiologists of Greenville and assisting Duplin General with preparations for its accreditation survey in 2002. The new agreement will form a closer bond between Duplin General and UHS, officials said.

"We are very enthusiastic about this affiliation," said Doug Yarbrough, president of Duplin General. "We have a mutually beneficial relationship with UHS and the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. We see this affiliation as helping us cope with changes in the health care industry while bringing additional value to patients in our service area."

Yarbrough said the agreement with UHS will not affect Duplin General's membership or affiliation with any other organization.

Duplin General is licensed for 101 beds and staffs 89. The hospital has an active medical staff of 29 physicians and has 442 employees. Duplin General had $26.8 million in net patient revenues in fiscal year 2004, which ended Sept. 30.

"UHS is committed to helping hospitals throughout eastern Carolina become stronger in their own communities," said Dave McRae, chief executive officer of UHS. "We are pleased to be invited to help Duplin General Hospital continue its tradition of health care for its citizens. This most recent collaboration will build on our cooperative relationship and strengthen Duplin General Hospital."