Southcoast -- M.D. Anderson
The Southcoast Hospitals Group in southeastern Massachusetts recently announced an affiliation with the physicians from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Texas. An excerpt:
The M. D. Anderson Physicians Network affiliation is offered selectively to qualified community hospitals and their medical staffs in the U.S. only after a rigorous and extensive evaluation process based on evidence-based treatment guidelines and quality management. This affiliation will enable patients to be treated at Southcoast with the assurance of best national practices in patient care. Because of this relationship the expert staff and physicians of Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care will be able to closely collaborate with M. D. Anderson and bring more than 100 evidence-based treatment regimens for almost every type and phase of cancer to the community.
This, if I may say so, is big news and a coup for the folks at Southcoast. No one can doubt the expertise now being brought to New England by the M.D. Anderson doctors. Another quote from the press release:
By building a strong community program with access to the nation's top-performing cancer program, we are assuring our community advanced care and clinical outcomes. We want our patients to rest assured their treatment plans are being measured against proven benchmarks with great outcomes and quality oversight.
In a previous blog post, I discussed the difference between zero-sum competition in the health care marketplace and competition that adds value for the community. Here, Southcoast has traded on the perspective and expertise offered by an out-of-region center to add benefit to its patients.
Let's note that the relationship requires no purchase or transfer of assets, nor transfer of control that undermines the local ownership or authority of the independent Southcoast system. While there are certainly business terms that require compensatory payment for services rendered, the context is one of a respectful and collaborative clinical relationship.
Anna Jaques -- BIDMC
Last week, Anna Jaques hospital in Newburyport announced a clinical affiliation with BIDMC. Here's an excerpt from Katie Farrell Lovett's story in the Daily News:
Under the affiliation, Anna Jaques will remain an independent, nonprofit hospital, but any "holes in the services" at the hospital will be filled through the new relationship with Beth Israel Deaconess, and services will be strengthened, beginning with specialty cardiovascular care and high-risk pregnancy care.
The origin of the relationship was a strategic review by Ana Jaques in which the community expressed a desire for the local hospital to supplement its service offerings by creating a partnership with an academic center.
CEO Delia O'Connor . . . stressed that the affiliation will not change the role of the Newburyport-based community hospital.
"Anna Jaques is staying Anna Jaques," she said. "This is not a business merger or change in ownership. We're not being taken over by a big Boston hospital."As I mentioned below, our business plan is to look for community-based partners -- hospitals and physician practices -- for whom we can respectfully help to deliver coordinated care. Ownership, takeover, and reduction in local control is not our goal.
We do not foreclose the possibility that a community-based organization might seek corporate integration in addition to a service-based collaboration. But, even then, we would want an assurance, based on actual experience, that a corporate restructuring is based on a successful record of clinical integration and respectful relationships between our physicians and other staff.