Trending: Country’s Top Hospitals forming Alliances with Regional Health Systems

By: McKenzie Livingston

A few years ago, the Cleveland Clinic, ranked the top cardiology hospital in the country by U.S. News & World Report, started contracting directly for healthcare services with large employers like Lowe’s, Wal-Mart and Boeing. Under these national contracts, self-insured employers pay for their workers throughout the country to travel to the Cleveland Clinic, for certain complex procedures, including heart surgery. The goal is to improve outcomes and save costs for the most complex treatments. It is estimated that some 2.5 million people across the country are covered by such national contracts.

In August, the Cleveland Clinic selected North Shore-LIJ Health System to be its exclusive partner in New York state to provide cardiac care for patients who are part of the Cleveland Clinic’s national network of large employers. North Shore-LIJ is the largest health care system in New York state with 16 hospitals. North Shore-LIJ is the second member of the Cleveland Clinic’s Cardiovascular Specialty Network. The charter member was MedStar Health in Washington, D.C. in 2013. Under the arrangement, employers in New York, who have national contracts with the Cleveland Clinic, will have the option of sending employees to North-Shore-LIJ for cardiac care. These type of alliances are becoming more common as they provide patients who are a part of the national contracts medical care closer to home. The alliances are also used to provide patients the benefits of the expertise from these world-renowned hospitals without the patients having to travel to the those facilities.

In fact, just this week Memorial Sloan Kettering announced that Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute has been certified as the charter member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance. The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute comprises five cancer centers – one at each of Hartford HealthCare’s acute-care hospitals across Connecticut. Memorial Sloan Kettering, which is ranked the top cancer center in the country by U.S. News & World Report, established the MSK Cancer Alliance to more rapidly integrate the latest advances of cancer care in a community setting.

This is certainly a trend that is not slowing down. Although the Cleveland Clinic presently only has two facilities in its Cardiovascular Specialty Network, the network is expected to grow to 15 facilities by 2015. In addition, the Mayo Clinic Care Network which began in September 2011 has grown to include 28 health care systems in 23 states, inculding Baptist Health Care and Parrish Medical Center in Florida.

You can more about the the specific alliances referenced in this articles at:

http://www.northshorelij.com/hospitals/news/cleveland-clinic-14

http://www.mskcc.org/blog/msk-announces-unprecedented-alliance

http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic/care-network

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