JACKSON COUNTY, Alabama — UPDATE: Huntsville Hospital Health System and the Jackson County Health Care Authority on September 29 announced the completion of the due diligence process to integrate the two organizations.
Huntsville Hospital Health System will assume control and responsibility for operating all Jackson County Health Care Authority facilities, including Highlands Medical Center in Scottsboro, Cumberland Health and Rehab in Bridgeport and Highlands Health and Rehab starting October 1 per the 40-year lease agreement.
“We look forward to a long and successful relationship with the Huntsville Hospital Health System, and are excited for our community to benefit from it,” said Jackson County Health Care Authority Chairman Bob Matthews. “The Huntsville system has helped other North Alabama hospitals progress and thrive through their partnerships. We are happy to be the latest group to be integrated into the organization.”
“We welcome the Jackson County Health Care Authority to our Health System. Our relationship with Highlands Medical Center goes back many years and we look forward to working with their team as we serve our respective patients and communities,” said Huntsville Hospital CEO Jeff Samz.
The Jackson County Health Care Authority has signed a letter of intent to integrate with the Huntsville Hospital Health System. The full announcement can be read below:
Huntsville Hospital Health System and the Jackson County Health Care Authority have taken the first step towards developing an integration agreement that strengthens the relationship that has existed between the facilities for over a year.
Huntsville officials said the agreement is similar to what the Huntsville Hospital system has done with other North Alabama hospitals like Athens-Limestone Hospital, Decatur Morgan Hospital, Marshall Medical Centers and others.
“The increasingly complex and uncertain health care environment makes it more and more challenging for community owned non-profit hospitals like Highlands to flourish and grow,” said Bob Matthews, Jackson County Health Care Authority Board of Directors Chairman. “We are the only remaining independent hospital in North Alabama. Having a strong relationship with the Huntsville Hospital system will allow for opportunities to access capital for improvements in equipment and our facilities, realize cost savings through buying power and more.”
Matthews said the decision to enter into the agreement is the best option considering the economic challenges facing small hospitals today and will greatly benefit patients and the community.
According to the agreement, the Jackson County Health Care Authority will continue to exist as an advisory board, and will gain additional members in the future.
Following a successful due diligence process, the agreement will be effective October 1, 2021