All about the Stevens-Swedish hospital deal

Representatives of Stevens and Swedish hospitals will kick off a series of meetings in south Snohomish County next week to explain how the proposed affiliation between the two organizations will work.

The business agreement calls for Seattle-based Swedish Health Services to take over management of the Edmonds hospital and pay the hospital district $600,000 a month in lease payments.

The deal is being reviewed by the state Department of Health, which ultimately must accept or reject it.

If it’s approved, Swedish could take over management of the Edmonds hospital in September or October, said Mike Carter, Stevens’ chief executive.

“We’ll talk about the transition with Swedish… and why we think there’s so many exciting opportunities,” Carter said.

In May, Swedish received a list of questions from the state Department of Health about the proposal. “They looked through the questions and they are routine,” Carter said.

Swedish has until July to respond to the health department’s questions. If no unforeseen snags arise, Swedish could begin management of the hospital as early as Sept. 1, Carter said.

The five-member elected Stevens Hospital board approved the proposed partnership with Swedish Health Services at its February meeting.

The move will end Stevens’ 46-year history as an independent public hospital. It will retain its taxing authority.

Representatives of the two organizations said that Stevens would benefit from the increased financial resources and investments in its services that Swedish can provide.

This includes the $600,000 in monthly lease payments to the hospital district, which are to increase 3 percent each year, for the 30 years of the agreement.

Swedish has pledged to make $90 million in general investments at the Edmonds hospital over the next decade and $60 million in building improvements and expansion.

This includes an electronic medical records system, now used at all of Swedish’s hospitals and clinics. It is expected to be ready to turn on at the Edmonds hospital by early 2012.

Swedish also plans to establish electronic monitoring of patients in Stevens’ intensive care unit, a system now in place at Swedish’s three hospital campuses in Seattle. Through this system, intensive care beds are electronically monitored day and night by nurses at a remote center and by an intensive care doctor, in addition to bedside care.

Instituting both systems at Stevens is expected to cost about $15.5 million.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com.

Hospital meetings

Representatives from Swedish Medical Center and Stevens Hospital will discuss the pending agreement for Swedish to take over management of Stevens Hospital at eight upcoming public meetings.

For more information, call Stevens Hospital at 425-640-4035.

Monday: Mountlake Terrace City Council meeting, 7 p.m. 23204 58th Ave. W. The city posts audio files of its meetings on its Web page, tinyurl.com/MountlakeTerrace.

July 13: Mill Creek City Council, 6 p.m. 15728 Main St.

July 19: Woodway City Council meeting, 7 p.m. 23920 113th Place W.

Aug. 3: Edmonds City Council meeting, 7 p.m. 250 Fifth Ave. N. The meeting will be broadcast live and rebroadcast daily on Comcast channel 21 and Verizon channel 39 at 7 a.m., noon and 7 p.m.

Aug. 17: Fire District 1 board of commissioners, 7 p.m. 12425 Meridian Ave. S., Everett.

Aug. 24: Brier City Council meeting, 7:30 p.m. 2901 228th St. SW.

Meetings tentatively have been scheduled for Aug. 2 with the Mukilteo City Council and Aug.18 with the Lynnwood City Council.

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