Questions and Answers
Partners HealthCare, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and South Shore Hospital
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 would 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 System.
1. What are the benefits of South Shore becoming part of Partners?
The step of South Shore Hospital becoming part of Partners builds upon the long-standing relationship between South Shore Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The hospitals envision working with physicians, insurers, employers, and community organizations to focus on what’s known as “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.
The proposed affiliation would be designed to benefit the community in several ways, including by:
- Expanding the availability, accessibility and affordability of preventive and primary care
- Increasing local availability of expert medical and clinical talent
- Enhancing electronic health information exchange among patients and health care providers
- Managing costs through improved operational efficiencies
- Improving the integration, organization and delivery of health services to better meet the needs of people from diverse socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds
2. What would happen to South Shore Hospital if it joins Partners?
As part of Partners, South Shore Hospital would keep its name and remain an independently licensed, not-for-profit, tax-exempt, charitable health care provider and maintain its own board of directors, medical staff, community connections and fund-raising activities.
3. Is Partners HealthCare buying South Shore Hospital?
No. Partners HealthCare is not entering into a financial transaction to purchase South Shore Hospital. Both are not-for-profit charities. The arrangement specifies that South Shore Hospital would become a wholly owned member of Partners HealthCare System.
4. How is the proposed transaction different than the current clinical affiliation?
South Shore Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have a long-standing clinical affiliation whose purpose has been to cooperatively offer specialized surgical, cardiovascular, cancer, and women's health services. As a member of Partners, South Shore Hospital’s governance, clinical and business operations would become fully aligned with and work within the Partners HealthCare System. As the health care delivery system and payment mechanisms evolve toward a world of population management and global payments, this alignment would advance South Shore Hospital’s charitable mission in Southeastern Massachusetts.
5. What presence would South Shore Hospital have within Partners HealthCare?
South Shore Hospital would be represented on the Partners board of directors, as well as in other decision-making forums, in the same way as other community hospital members of Partners HealthCare, such as Newton Wellesley Hospital and North Shore Medical Center.
6. Why is South Shore Hospital considering joining Partners, after 90 years as an independent hospital? Is the hospital experiencing financial / operating difficulties?
South Shore Hospital is not taking steps to join Partners because of financial or operating difficulties. South Shore Hospital remains the leading provider of emergency, acute, outpatient, home health and hospice care in Southeastern Massachusetts. It is “A” rated by the leading financial rating agencies.
The time is right for South Shore, Brigham and Partners to join together because in today’s health care environment – both in Massachusetts and across the country – government and private insurers have come to expect that physicians and hospitals develop new models of health care delivery that emphasize 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 overall rise in costs.
Working together, the organizations can utilize all their experience and resources to optimize the full continuum of care and to improve the availability, accessibility and affordability of quality health for the people of the region.
7. What would joining Partners mean for South Shore Hospital’s employees?
South Shore Hospital would continue to employ its own team of colleagues whose contributions personify and advance its charitable mission.
8. What would joining Partners mean for South Shore Hospital’s medical staff?
South Shore Hospital will continue to have its own medical staff, responsible for providing, administering, and maintaining a high quality of medical care.
9. What would joining Partners mean for South Shore Hospital’s patients?
South Shore Hospital’s commitment to provide local access to expert health care services remains unchanged. Partners also believes that local access is a foundation of health care population management. The purpose of the proposed affiliation would be to provide the people of Southeastern Massachusetts with an even greater range of seamless, interconnected, and efficient health care services, while expanding their access to world-renowned academic medical centers for the management of highly complex conditions.
10. Will South Shore Hospital continue to fundraise? How will my donations be used?
South Shore Hospital is a charity that depends on community support. Its philanthropy arm, the South Shore Hospital Charitable Foundation, would continue to raise support for South Shore Hospital’s charitable mission. All monies raised prior to and following the proposed affiliation would exclusively be used to support South Shore Hospital.
11. When would the proposed affiliation take place?
The memorandum of understanding is an important step in a comprehensive process that will continue for several months. The arrangement will undergo a state and federal review. Updated information about the proposed affiliation will be communicated as the process moves forward.