PeaceHealth, United General delay Skagit hospital takeover

PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center and United General Hospital in Sedro-Woolley have agreed to extend the date in which PeaceHealth will take over leasing and operation of the Skagit County medical center.

Both parties have agreed to implement a 30-year operating agreement no later than July 1, 2014. A previous agreement set the deadline for July 1 of this year.

The extended deadline was necessary due to procedural delays with state-level regulators and the need for more time to fully integrate the operations of the two organizations, according to PeaceHealth.

United General and PeaceHealth are currently working together under an interim-services agreement that will be expanded as of July 1, 2013.

The long-term deal was approved by commissioners of the Public Hospital District 304 in Skagit County last fall. The United General facility, which would still be owned by the Public Hospital District, would be renamed the PeaceHealth United General Medical Center.

“We have made enormous strides towards this alliance and we will continue to do so,” Greg Reed, CEO of United General Hospital, said in a press release. “Leaders of both organizations are committed to a seamless and successful transition. We simply need more time to minimize any disruption to our services.”

PeaceHealth St. Joseph CEO Nancy Steiger also said, in a statement, that the relationship between both organizations remains strong.

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