LANCASTER – Many people served by the Antelope Valley Healthcare District are wondering about the hospital’s new management contract with Alecto Healthcare Services and what it means for the community.
The Antelope Valley Healthcare District’s board of directors at its Nov. 4 meeting chose Alecto over another management firm and two CEO candidates to fill Antelope Valley Hospital’s management vacancy.
Though Alecto’s management of the hospital takes place immediately, the AVHD board of directors said that ultimate authority for the hospital’s operations, financial responsibility and strategic direction continues to reside with them.
Board Chair Doddanna Krishna, M.D., said the board’s first priority is quality healthcare, which is also “top on Alecto’s list of priorities.”
“Because Alecto brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of industry best practices, we expect quality of care at AVH to mirror that of any top hospital in the country,” Dr. Krishna said. “In fact, our contract with Alecto provides specific benchmarks pertaining to quality and continuous quality improvement.”
Asked about future spending cuts and service consolidations, Dr. Krishna responded: “The new management company will conduct a thorough analysis of all of our programs and services within the context of the needs of the community. More than anything, Alecto will apply their industry knowledge to make our programs better in ways that improve the patient experience and ensure patient safety and quality of care. They are perfectly aligned with our mission, obligation and responsibilities as a district hospital.”
Alecto has worked with many hospitals in various financial situations, Dr. Krishna said.
“They will immediately begin to review our overall financial position and put programs in place that reflect sound stewardship and long-term financial viability for the hospital,” he said.
Antelope Valley Hospital has witnessed a “tremendous financial turnaround” over the past year, thanks to the hard work of its employees, according to Dr. Krishna.
“We believe that our financial future is brighter than ever with Alecto now on board,” he said.
Alecto, a privately held Irvine-based company, stated in a news release that its management team has more than 100 years of experience in operating and managing acute care hospitals in California and around the country. Alecto’s management team has helped turn around 20 financially distressed hospitals over the past several decades, company officials said in the news release.
Alecto is already familiar with the challenges facing AV Hospital because Pam Hinson, Alecto’s Corporate Director of Revenue Services, served as vice president of Business, Revenue and Patient Care Coordination at AVH from 2007 to 2014, according to the company. Alecto’s CEO, Lex Reddy, and Chief Medical Officer, Panch Jeyakumar, have had professional relationships in the Antelope Valley since the 1990s, company officials said in the news release.
Antelope Valley Hospital employs more than 2,400 people and has about 450 physicians on staff, according to the district’s website. The 420-bed district hospital serves more than 218,000 patients annually, while providing a full array of medical/ surgical services, pediatric treatment, mental health, cancer care and more.