Wellmont looking at future options

Executives exploring aligning with another system

Wellmont looking at future options

KINGSPORT, Tenn. - Change is coming for a local health care company.

Wellmont Health System announced Thursday morning the company will spend the next year evaluating options to meet the long-term needs of the organization.

We've learned Wellmont officials started a process to look at future options, including aligning with another health system.

Wellmont Health System President and CEO Denny DeNarvaez told News 5 the company has no specific timetable for any changes, but said something happening in 2014 was a real possibility.

"It's more important that the process be complete, do our due diligence and make sure we make the right decision, rather than the quickest decision," said DeNarvaez.

The announcement said it has become increasingly difficult for companies like Wellmont to continue to operate as they have in the past due to changes in healthcare.

A press release cited low patient volumes, reimbursement cuts and possible performance penalties under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as challenges for healthcare providers.

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