steward health care system


Mapping The Ever-Shifting Mass. Hospital Landscape

Thanks to health policy guru John McDonough for highlighting the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts’ new Health Care Delivery System Map which offers a snapshot of the state’s medical industrial complex as it becomes increasingly concentrated. There’s great data here, and it’s fairly easy to sort, from hospital revenue, ownership and geography to the latest info on mergers, acquisitions and new partnerships.

This online, interactive site won’t tell you where to get the best colonoscopy or most specialized cancer care, for instance, but it does offer insight into the scope and breadth of the marketplace. It essentially provides a baseline view of the state-of-the-industry for all the Mass. hospitals and hospital systems, medical groups, doctor networks and community health centers.

(Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts)

(Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts)

As McDonough writes:

For example, if you want to begin to understand why Partners Healthcare is so dominant in the state’s healthcare market, don’t go to this page, Hospital Systems by Size, on which Partners is #2 after Steward Health Care System. Go this this page: Physician Networks and Major Medical Groups, where the size of Partners’ physician network (called Partners Community Healthcare Inc., PCHI, or “peachy”) is larger than #2 (Steward) or #3 (Atrius), combined.

Or look at hospitals by Net Patient Service Revenue, and see that Partners total NPSR in 2010 ($4.2 billion) was the same as #s 2 (UMass Memorial), 3 (Steward), and 4 (Beth Israel Deaconess) combined.

Don’t forget this helpful page of Recent Changes in the Massachusetts health care market.

Readers, please roam around the site and let us know what’s interesting or useful to you.

Dorchester Reporter On Strategic Plan For Carney Hospital

The Dorchester Reporter gets its hands on documents detailing the strategic plan for Steward Health Care System’s Carney Hospital, following the abrupt departure of its president Bill Walczak under murky circumstances after only 14 months at the helm. (Steward intitially said Walczak resigned; Walczak told The Globe he didn’t resign.)

The Reporter notes that on Monday Carney’s new president and CEO Andrew Davis, a former health care executive in North Carolina, “was introduced to the Dorchester Avenue hospital’s board at a private meeting.” The story continues:

Before he left, Walczak was mapping out the immediate future of the hospital. A document obtained by the Reporter that was billed as the strategic plan for 2012 to 2015 stated, “The Carney Hospital is at a critical juncture at which it must now reestablish itself as a premier health care institution in Dorchester, or continue to slide toward obsolescence.” Continue reading

The Massachusetts Hospital Landscape: Fast, Furious Consolidation

By Fran Cronin
CommonHealth Intern

Harvard health policy professor Robert Blendon recently spoke about looming changes in the hospital landscape here.

“There is a chance that you could arrive [in Massachusetts] 10 years from now and there are [only] three organizations to negotiate with,” Blendon told Kaiser Health News. “And every physician and hospital is affiliated with one of the three. There are mergers, consolidations, groups merging with larger groups, so when negotiations come, there are going to be very large players, even larger than the systems that most people envision.”

There is, Blendon added, “this very visible sign of concentration among providers, which they argue will lead to less expensive care, but economists argue will lead to monopoly.”

Those signs of concentration are coming almost weekly: Hospitals bought, hospitals merged, hospitals declaring bankruptcy. So this seems like a good moment to step back and review all the recent action in a single roundup. If we’ve missed anything, please let us know.

The Massachusetts Hospital Association has been tracking industry activity since the 1980‘s. The list below includes MHA reporting and other sources, and it demonstrates that the rate of hospital realignment in Massachusetts is speeding up.

The Latest Action

July 2011: Lahey Clinic of Burlington announced it will merge with Northeast Health System and form the Lahey Health System

July 2011: Saints Medical Center of Lowell announced it will be bought by Steward Health Care System, LLC

July 2011: Quincy Medical Center filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced it will be acquired by Steward Health Care System, LLC

June 2011: Northern Berkshire Healthcare filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

May 2011: Morton Hospital of Taunton announced it will be bought by Steward Health Care System, LLC Continue reading

Steward To Launch ‘Believe’ Ad Campaign During Superbowl

A boxer to be featured in Superbowl ads by Steward Health Care System

WBUR’s Martha Bebinger reports:

“Believe” — that’s the theme for an ad campaign that Steward Health Care System is set to launch during Superbowl Sunday as it tries to re-brand Caritas Health Care.

The ads will feature patients talking about what’s important in health care, and about finding it at one of the six Caritas — now Steward — hospitals. To thrive, the former Catholic hospital chain, now a for-profit network, will have to persuade patients to use community hospitals instead of heading to Boston for care.

Brian Carty, Steward’s Chief Marketing Officer, would not say how much Steward is spending on this campaign. He estimates the ads will reach residents in the hospitals’ coverage areas six or seven times this month.