Twin State VNA Will Be D-H Affiliate

Formalized Deal Allows For Expanded Care Services

Valley News Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Lebanon — The board of the Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire has approved a deal that will make it a formal affiliate of the health system operated by its larger Lebanon neighbor, Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

“VNH is a leader in home-based care,” D-H Chief Executive James Weinstein said in a release Monday. “We are excited to be able to work more closely with them for the benefit of the people and communities we serve.”

The new relationship will help caregivers “improve transitions from hospital to home and avoid unnecessary re-hospitalizations that reduce quality of life and increase costs,” VNH CEO Jeanne McLaughlin said in a news release.

D-H will have the final say on VNH’s top management, financial and programming decisions and the composition of its board of directors.

That board, while subordinate to D-H’s, will retain “exclusive control of allocation” of VNH’s $14 million investment portfolio, according to documents spelling out terms of the deal.

VNH is designated by the state of Vermont as the nonprofit home care provider for some towns in southeastern and east central Vermont, while in New Hampshire its service territory stretches from Keene to Haverhill, and east to New London.

The hospital has a long-standing relationship with VNH because it provides services in the territory around DHMC, said Steve LeBlanc, D-H’s executive vice president for enterprise design.

Bayada, a for-profit company, also offers services throughout Vermont, while VNH’s service area overlaps with other nonprofit providers in New Hampshire, which does not assign exclusive territories to nonprofits.

VNH’s revenue of $21.7 million exceeded expenses by $1.6 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014, according to the organizations’s tax return, which showed it had 268 employees.

D-H posted revenue of $1.6 billion in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015.

The deal, which is set to take effect on July 1, was forged even as the two nonprofits moved to build new facilities. Construction is underway on VNH’s new $2.6 million headquarters in White River Junction. A groundbreaking on D-H’s $20.5-million Center for Palliative and Hospice Care is set for later this month.

That project also provided an impetus for the tie-up with VNH.

“We needed to partner with (an organization) that has a hospice license,” LeBlanc said.

The VNH board vote took place on May 24 and concluded discussions that began in 2014. Vermont regulators gave the affiliation a green light in October.

Rick Jurgens can be reached at rjurgens@vnews.com or 603-727-3229.