By Erick Peterson
Yakima Valley Business Times (Sept 21 – Oct 5, 2012)
A $200,000 renovation of the Yakima Heart Center to create a new reception area is the latest effort to cement a partnership with Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.
Back in June, YHC issued a letter explaining the partnership with Memorial. The clinic, which has existed for 40 years as Yakima's only independent cardiac medical group, had worked with both Memorial and Yakima Regional Medical & Cardiac Center.
The new partnership guaranteed that they would still be able to take patients from the two hospitals, and also be able to "streamline services, improve patient care and reduce medical costs," according to the center.
YHC's 11 cardiologists and 60 staff members would not become Memorial employees but remain employed by YHC. Meanwhile, Memorial will run the Memorial Cardiovascular Imaging Center at YHC.
"What you have is essentially two entities occupying one space," said Nicole Donegan, YHC spokesperson.
She added that many of the new renovations come about because of the new partnership with Memorial.
"The renovations consist mostly of relocating some office spaces and changing some doors and access routes," she said, “but also changing the reception areas to accommodate both entities as well as some mandatory signage, required by the Department of Health."
The renovation and the need for renovation, Donegan said, did not come as a surprise at the time the two entities entered into the partnership and they should not concern patients.
"The staffing will remain the same, from a patient point of view," she said. Patients receiving imaging services will be billed through the hospital. Others receiving cardiac care will continue to be billed through the heart center.