The Philadelphia-based Delaware Valley Hospital Council has voted to extend membership eligibility to nursing homes, home health agencies, physician groups and provider-based healthcare.
It also adopted a new name-the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council-and opened membership to organizations in southern New Jersey and northern Delaware.
"That really reflects the patient utilization trends in this area," said Leonard N. Karp, a DV HC spokesman. "Patients don't recognize the rivers as borders."
The restructuring plan approved Sept. 19 will allow the DVHC to bring in partners in the continuum of care, said Andrew Wigglesworth, president of the 115-member coun cil. In addition, five new members were to be added to the council's 18-member board at its annual meeting last week.
"The whole idea here is to give the council the structure we need to move into the next century," Karp said.
The DVHC's restructuring began last year with the adoption of a new mission statement that focuses on helping members improve the health status of the community while leading changes in the transformation of healthcare delivery. In one related initiative, the council has partnered with an industry and labor coalition to establish healthcare worker retraining programs.
Although the dues structure, which is based on a formula, has not changed, Karp said it will be studied by a DVHC committee.