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Partners HealthCare, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, South Shore Hospital Move Toward Closer Affiliation

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JOINT STATEMENT
Partners HealthCare, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, South Shore Hospital

June 7, 2012 — Partners HealthCare, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and South Shore Hospital have taken a formal step toward South Shore becoming part of Partners to fulfill a vision to improve the coordination, accessibility and affordability of quality health care for patients in Southeastern Massachusetts. The non-profit organizations have entered into a memorandum of understanding in which South Shore Hospital would become a member of Partners HealthCare. 

The agreement builds upon the long-standing relationship between South Shore Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital and will create an integrated provider network in Southeastern Massachusetts with the capacity to deliver a more comprehensive approach to population health management.  Population health management involves redesigning how health care is provided to people who live in a particular region, with a focus on addressing the many factors that affect an individual’s overall health and wellness. 

In today’s health care environment – both in Massachusetts and across the country – there is an expectation that physicians and hospitals develop new models of care delivery that emphasize care coordination and deliver value and efficiency to patients.  By combining the talent, experience and resources of the organizations, patients can expect more coordinated care – ultimately enhancing patient care quality and satisfaction while reducing the rise in costs.

Under the agreement, which requires state and federal review over the next several months, South Shore Hospital would become part of Partners.  South Shore Hospital would keep its name and remain an independently licensed, not-for-profit, tax-exempt, charitable health care provider.  While becoming part of the Partners’ system, South Shore Hospital would maintain its own board of directors, medical staff, community connections and fund-raising activities.

“For more than a decade, our organizations have worked collaboratively to offer patients in Southeastern Massachusetts access to great care,” said Gary L. Gottlieb, MD, Partners HealthCare president and chief executive officer. “As the health care delivery system evolves and changes, we must make sure that we keep the needs of the patient front and center by delivering the right care in the right place.  This agreement will ensure that Partners HealthCare and South Shore Hospital are able to offer our patients seamless, highly coordinated care in their community.”

“Our organizations share a common vision: to benefit the community by improving how health care is delivered,” said Richard Aubut, South Shore Hospital president and chief executive officer.  “We recognize that physicians must serve as central architects of how care is redesigned.  Our goal is to provide health care services that employers and consumers can afford, in a manner that earns the respect and appreciation of patients and families.” 

South Shore Hospital and Partners HealthCare founding member Brigham and Women’s Hospital have worked together since 2004 to benefit the people of Southeastern Massachusetts.  Examples include the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in clinical affiliation with South Shore Hospital, a comprehensive Breast Care Center, a reproductive medicine program and the local availability of cardiovascular, neurology, urogynecology, general surgery, thoracic surgery, plastic surgery, and vascular surgery.  The organizations also collaborate in the provision of a Harvard Medical School-affiliated surgical residency program at South Shore Hospital.

“Brigham and Women’s Hospital values tremendously our long-standing relationship with South Shore Hospital.  Our goal through this agreement is to advance the coordination of care across the continuum to the Southeastern Massachusetts community, optimizing our ability to provide the right care at the right location with the right expertise and improving our ability to manage the health of populations. Working closely with South Shore and the community of patients it serves will help us contain costs and improve the patient experience and patients’ health throughout their lives,” said Elizabeth Nabel, MD, president of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Partners HealthCare is an integrated health system founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital.  In addition to its two academic medical centers, the Partners system includes community and specialty hospitals, community health centers, a physician network, home health and long-term care services, and other health-related entities. Partners is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations and a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.  Partners HealthCare is a non-profit organization.

South Shore Hospital is a 318-bed, not-for-profit, tax-exempt, charitable provider of acute, emergency, outpatient, home health, and hospice care to the people of Southeastern Massachusetts. South Shore Hospital’s home care division includes South Shore Visiting Nurse Association, Hospice of the South Shore, and Home & Health Resources. The hospital’s 900-member medical staff represents all leading medical specialties. South Shore Hospital employs 3,800 people, supported by a team of 600 volunteers. South Shore Hospital is licensed to provide Level II Trauma care and Level III Maternal/Newborn care.  South Shore Hospital is amidst a $43 million expansion to add 60 new inpatient beds for medical, surgical, cancer and orthopedic care.  South Shore Hospital has been ranked among the top Best Regional Hospitals in the Boston area by U.S. News & World Report for 2011 and named a 2011 Top Place to Work by the Boston Globe.

Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) is a 793-bed nonprofit teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and a founding member of Partners HealthCare, an integrated health care delivery network. BWH’s rich history in clinical care is coupled with its national leadership in quality improvement and patient safety initiatives and its dedication to educating and training the next generation of health care professionals. Through investigation and discovery conducted at its Biomedical Research Institute (BRI), BWH is an international leader in basic, clinical and translational research on human diseases, involving more than 900 physician-investigators and renowned biomedical scientists and faculty supported by more than $600 M in funding. BWH is also home to major landmark epidemiologic population studies, including the Nurses' and Physicians' Health Studies and the Women's Health Initiative, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. For more information about BWH, please visit www.brighamandwomens.org.

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