WVU Medicine hits ‘reset’ on purchase of The Health Plan | News, Sports, Jobs
WHEELING — Executives from WVU Medicine and The Health Plan are stepping back from an agreement for WVU to purchase the Wheeling firm to re-evaluate the terms of purchase.
Tony Condia, vice president of marketing at WVU Medicine, said the two entities mutually decided to re-assess the purchase.
“The goal still remains, to get a place where we can come together,” Condia said. “I don’t think the intent is to walk away. A note went out (Monday) to the folks at The Health Plan and to a casual reader, you might have that impression, but I think both parties are still interested in figuring out how they could still make it work.”
Condia described the move as “pushing reset on the original terms,” as both parties now have more information than when talks began months ago.
“Seven months ago we agreed to extend our due diligence, so that January start date was great when we first started,” he said. “I think it’s going to take longer, but as long as both parties are committed to the same result with a clearer set of terms, it’s just a matter of ‘when,’ not ‘if.’”
The Health Plan released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying the deal would not happen. The release said a statement of termination was sent Nov. 27 to the West Virginia Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
“While this effective transaction is no longer moving forward,” officials said in the release, “The Health Plan remains committed to building a statewide integrated healthcare finance and delivery network that will include all major health systems.
“In addition, this announcement does not change or affect coverage for anyone insured by The Health Plan who receives services from West Virginia University Health System facilities.”
Condia said from the perspective of WVU Medicine, the re-assessment will help ensure the proper application of health care for residents in West Virginia.
“Our big picture goal is to bring WVU Medicine and The Health Plan together and create a fully integrated financial and health care delivery network,” he said. “With that model, and that transition, comes lots of benefits for the state of West Virginia. We’re in a better position to help manage significant health issues in the state, and it really is the ultimate direction that health care can take, and this represents a transformational moment.”
The closure of Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling and East Ohio Regional Hospital in Martins Ferry had no bearing on the decision, Condia said.
“They’re separate buckets, separate sets of issues,” he said. “We’re working closely with the management at Wheeling Hospital, and with Reynolds (Memorial Hospital) to make sure the added capacity can be met, particularly in the areas of behavioral medicine and psychology.”
WVU Medicine has management agreements with Wheeling Hospital and WVU Medicine Barnesville Hospital in Ohio and owns WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital in Glen Dale.