Virginia health authority gets responses to MSHA, Wellmont merger questions

ABINGDON, VA (WJHL) – Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance received responses to the first round of questions submitted by the authority that will oversee the application process in Virginia.

On Thursday, Southwest Virginia Health Authority confirmed in a news release the board had received the responses to questions submitted to the applicants a few weeks ago.

“We look forward to reviewing them and hopefully concluding our process by mid-August,” Del.Terry Kilgore, chairman of the Southwest Virginia Health Authority, said.

Back in February, Wellmont and Mountain States submitted a “Commonwealth of Virginia Application for a Letter Authorizing Cooperative Agreement” to SVHA.

According to the release, the authority then formed working groups to focus on five different aspects of the application — access, cost, population health, quality and competition.

In May, the SVHA submitted more than 60 questions about the application to the health care groups.

“I have asked the working groups to reconvene as quickly as possible to review this information and determine if any additional information is needed prior to the Authority’s formal consideration of whether the application is complete,” Kilgore said.

When the authority deems the application complete, that is the first formal step in the review of the application by the state.

A written public comment period will then take place and a public hearing with the Virginia Commissioner of Health.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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