Aycock said attorneys are looking at financial components of the deal, but those details are "[not] ready to be shared."
Aycock and Saunders referenced financial problems that threaten many rural Georgia hospitals, and "weigh heavily on the minds of our board members and our community," Aycock said.
The arrangement "gives us the opportunity to look at cost structure, economies of scale, and some other things that are under development." Three or four hospitals in the region have recently closed.
Saunders said that one aim of the arrangement is to "instead of being a vertically integrated system, that we become longitudinal and a little bit more horizontal, by which I mean looking at systems of care," developing services through a post-acute care partnership or on the ambulatory side of care with Oconee Regional.
In a press release announcing the partnership, the organizations quoted James O. Smith, Jr., MD, owner of a family practice in Milledgeville and an ORMC board member for 15 years: "In the new order of healthcare, smaller, not-for-profit community hospitals like ours can continue to thrive and grow when best practices and other resources are shared."