Local hospitals sign agreement to form healthcare system

The Beth Israel Deaconess system, Lahey Health, New England Baptist Hospital, Mount Auburn Hospital and Anna Jacques Hospital have signed a ‘definitive agreement,’ bringing them one step closer to officially affiliating the hospitals together under one healthcare system, according to a press release.

The participating hospitals and health care centers had already signed a non-binding letter of intent to officially affiliate with one another. The definitive agreement was signed in order to create a new regional health system to provide lower healthcare costs, according to the press release.

“There is a clear need for a cost-effective alternative health system in Massachusetts,” said Ann- Ellen Hornidge, chair of the board of trustees of Lahey Health and Cchair of the board of trustees of the new system, according to the press relese. “We are creating a strong new health system that focuses on what patients and their families rightfully deserve — a commitment to the highest level of care and clinical innovation at lower costs, with convenience of access for patients and their families. We are confident that our new system will have a positive impact in terms of health outcomes, patient satisfaction and cost containment, benefiting our patients and their families, our communities, employers, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

The new system includes 13 hospitals, including eight community hospitals, over 800 primary care physicians, and more than 3,500 specialists. 75 percent of all patients in Eastern Massachusetts will have a primary care physician affiliated with the new system within five miles of their home.

All of the hospitals in the new system will retain their names and licenses under the central parent organization. An affiliation board will provide governance for each participating organization, and each hospital will retain its own board, leadership team, and clinical staff.

“Our new system will offer patients extraordinary care in the most convenient location, supported by world class research and medical education,” said Kevin Tabb, MD, CEO of the Beth Israel Deaconess system and CEO of the new system. “In addition, the new system will strengthen our ability to make the investments in our facilities, technology and people that will help ensure our continued success. Together, we will improve patient care, help contain rising health care costs, and better position our member hospitals in a rapidly changing health care environment.”

The proposed new system still needs to be reviewed by federal and state legislators. In the meantime, the member hospitals of the new system will continue to operate independently.

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