King’s Daughters’ Health and Norton Healthcare announced Tuesday the health systems are exploring a partnership. The systems already have an affiliation agreement for oncology services with Norton Cancer Institute at KDH’s Cancer Treatment Center in Madison, Indiana, where KDH is headquartered. The letter of intent seeks to expand that relationship. KDH Board Chair Annie Schroeder said in a statement that sharing additional resources and expertise between KDH and Louisville, Ky.-based Norton Healthcare will benefit patients, physicians, employees and the community. “Today’s announcement provides us an opportunity to ensure that KDH will remain an integral part of the community for another century,” she said.Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, KDH’s board spent years studying the healthcare landscape. As part of its evaluation, it enlisted Kaufman Hall for help in exploring partnerships. Norton CEO Russell Cox said in a statement his system has long been impressed by KDH’ commitment to quality and community connections.”We are honored to partner with King’s Daughters’ to ensure exceptional care close to home and increased access to specialty care as needed,” he said. We share similar cultures as proven community leaders with a deep commitment to our employees, to our patients and their families and to the communities we are honored to serve.” Norton, which has five hospitals, reported a very strong 11.8% operating margin in the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from 4.6% in the prior-year period. That’s despite a 9% year-over-year decline in admissions.
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