Sarasota Memorial ends management agreement with BayCare Health

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- More changes are on the way for Sarasota Memorial Health Care System. Its management services relationship with non-profit BayCare Health System is coming to an end.

The two have had an affiliation many years, but the management services agreement forged between them in 2013 was a new venture for both at the time. A year and a half later, the agreement will end, but the relationship -- although changed -- will continue.

SMH is used to change. In 2013 they opened their new 9-story Courtyard Tower and entered into a management services agreement with long-term affiliate BayCare Health System.

But Dr. Marguerite G. Malone, chairwoman of the Sarasota County Public Hospital Board says in a phone interview that the management contract changes will not impact patient care. “We're going to continue our respiratory program, which allows us to keep a twelve bed unit here in Sarasota. We're continuing our home health relationship with them, we're continuing to use their float pool for nurse travelers when we need to flex our staff.”

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Moor of Advanced Sports Medicine Center says he doesn’t think the change will bother doctors significantly. “I think Memorial's large enough where they'll have enough clout to deal with insurance companies and management situations without problems.”

He performs a variety of surgeries at SMH. “Most of my surgeries done at Memorial Hospital are joint replacements, such as knees, hip, and shoulders.”

And more than a few procedures. “I do about one hundred a year.”

Change, says Dr. Moor, may be good. “I can imagine that the smaller, more locally, the management is, the more responsive they'll be to change. And that will help patients in the long run. I think a larger or a national corporation would be less responsive to local needs and thereby less responsive to patient needs.”

Malone was there for the departure of long-term CEO Gwen MacKenzie, and is no stranger to transitions. “We are going to continue and even enhance our exchange of best practices, all of which make it much better for our patients here in Sarasota.”