Since last weekend, I have been dealing with the rumor that WMHS has been once again sold to Johns Hopkins Health System. It was pretty pervasive around the community, including the media and politicians who were getting their information from "very reliable sources." During the week, I talked with my counterpart at Meritus Health in Hagerstown. He told me that he deals with that same rumor repeatedly in his community.
During the last year, I have blogged and written about a meeting that I had with a senior VP from Hopkins shortly after we moved into the new hospital. He and I had been colleagues for a number of years in Maryland and he asked to visit the new hospital. During that visit, I told him of the rumors that I had been dealing with over the years concerning Hopkins acquiring WMHS. He told me that Hopkins will pursue other hospitals provided that hospital or health system provides a competitive advantage and / or brings a critical mass of new patients to their system. He said that he didn't mean to be disrespectful, but WMHS provides neither for Hopkins. Maybe it's a desire of those "reliable sources" to have Hopkins in the community. I, for one, recognize the reputation of a Johns Hopkins Health System, but such an outcome would not be in this health system's or our community's best interest. By forming the Western Maryland Health System and building the new hospital, our goal has been to preserve low cost, viable health care in our community. So far, we have been successful. Our goal is to figure out a way to ensure that same low cost viable health care can continue with the dramatic changes that continue to occur in health care nationwide and in Maryland.