Press-Republican

Health

February 3, 2013

ECH purchases Smith House

ELIZABETHTOWN — Elizabethtown Community Hospital has added Smith House in Willsboro to its outreach clinics.

Though it provides high-quality health care, Smith House had experienced financial difficulties, primarily due to the intricacies of getting reimbursement, according to Smith House Board of Directors member Nick Muller.

“ECH had started to manage many of the functions of Smith House,” he said.

Muller said many medical facilities face financial challenges, especially with government reporting and billing, which he termed “very complex.”

The transfer of Smith House to ECH went smoothly.

“There has not been a hiccup,” Muller said. “It became seamless. Our Board of Directors looked at many options, and we are certain we have chosen the right one.”

Elizabethtown Community CEO Rod Boula said the hospital already had connections with Smith House.

“Going back before 2010, we had provided medical doctors.”

The past few years, there has been an effort to have medical records, X-rays, and tests shared between the two facilities.

“We stepped in to help, and it worked out very well,” Boula said.

NATURAL EXTENSION

Jane Hooper, ECH director of community relations, said the purchase “serves the local community. This is a natural extension of our health care. Health care is changing in the entire region, as well as locally.

“It’s also tough to get doctors, and we are trying to get clinics in communities.” 

Muller said they recently added Dr. Mary Glickman.

“She has been extremely well received and will become the medical director at Smith House.”

ECH is planning to add a physical-therapy clinic there, as well.

Smith House Board member Win Belanger said he has been working for two years to see the affiliation happen.

“The staff here has been on the ECH payroll, and we have been sharing services.”

ECH also manages clinics in Westport and Wilmington.

Email Alvin Reiner at: rondackrambler@yahoo.com

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