SITKA, Alaska — Two Alaska hospitals that are grappling with financial challenges will consider consolidation.

The Sitka Community Hospital board plans to discuss possible courses of action at a Monday work session, KCAW-FM reported ( ).

ECG Management Consultants came up with three options for Sitka Community Hospital and Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium’s Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital.

“The third is to do some type of new entity that has joint governance from both sides and that would take over the management of both facilities and some operations here,” said Sitka Community Hospital CEO Rob Allen.

He said the hospitals are anticipating the needs of an aging population as well as less funding from the state.

“It’s looking at higher reimbursement rates that are available, doing away with some duplication and increasing the options for health care. If you have some of those resources available to focus in other ways and trying to keep those people here health care,” he said.

Collaborate on operations in some areas or put both hospitals under the same management.

One option is to do nothing, but the consultant says that does not solve financial issues and would mean uncertainty for hospital staff and patients.

“The second one is to do some type of joint operating agreement and collaborate on a lower level,” Allen said. “Looking at maybe clinics and OB, cooperate in some areas that would work for both entities but still continue competing in some areas.”

The Edgecumbe hospital plans to present options to its board as well.

Information from: KCAW-FM,

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