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Newton Medical to pick partner by January
Jim Weadick lays out future plans to Covington Rotary Club
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Process of equity partnership for Newton Medical Center

Step 1 – Newton Medical Center formed subcommittees both in the medical staff and governing body.

Step 2 – Develop Request for Proposal and Qualification, consisting of 72 questions or statements for prospective partners

Step 3 – Give answers to 72 questions, in form of 100-150 pages of responses to separate committees.

Step 4 – Due Diligence Guide of items answers needed for.

Step 5 – Presentation made to hospital and making site visits to candidate facilities.

Step 6 – Make recommendations to Board of Directors during January board meeting.

Step 7 – Given Board of approval work out a term sheet, ranging from 15-20 pages.

Step 8 – Legal counsel forms contract and it goes in front of Attorney General

Step 9 – The proposed equity partnership will go to a public hearing within a 90-day window.

The Newton Medical Center (NMC) expects to pick an equity partner in January, according to a presentation given by CEO Jim Weadick at a meeting of the Covington Rotary Club Tuesday.

Newton County's hospital announced it was seeking an "equity relationship" in September, after years of refusing to do so.
Weadick said the hospital is looking at a number of options, ranging from a purchase to a partnership or a possible lease.

"We are in the undertaking of evaluating whether or not to merge or be acquired by another facility," Weadick said. "The merger or acquisition could be a purchase, a joint partnership, or a joint venture, or a lease or it could be a number of things."

NMC is currently setting up visits to potential partners, after going through a number of procedures in a multi-step process, all overseen by a consultant.

The process began with the forming of committees within the hospitals governing body and medical staff. From there a 72-question Request for Proposal was sent out, asking potential candidates such things as what services they would like to see cut, expanded, or undertaken.

Those questions were turned into a 100-150 page response document, which was evaluated by the consultant.

The candidates were then narrowed down, and given to the separate committees.

"All this is governed within a timeline," Weadick said. "The timeline began July 8 and will wrap up sometime next year. It has given us good insight into potential candidates."

The various partner candidates presented to NMC and members of the hospital and consultants will now visit those candidates.

Weadick said the top candidate will be presented during the Board of Director's first meeting in January for approval.

"Given board approval of that we will be working out a term sheet," Weadick said. "That will probably range from 15-20 pages containing a number of different questions we want to have answers to such as ‘Will you keep the administrator on as an employee after the merger,' and questions like that that range the whole gamut."