Boston's Steward Health Care System, which has been extremely active in mergers and acquisitions along the Eastern seaboard, has now entered into a strategic alliance with Partners HealthCare on trauma care, reported The Boston Globe.
Under the deal, Steward will sends its patients who are suffering from severe injuries but admitted at their smaller community hospitals to the two major Boston hospitals Partners owns: Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital. It currently transfers about 1,000 such patients a year to hospitals throughout the Boston region.
"(Steward) is trying to develop a full-service system so they have the capability to provide things in the medical area that anyone would want. And to the extent that they can't provide the services, they're trying to show that their brand is developing ties and has access to high-end institutions," Stuart H. Altman, professor of health policies at Brandeis University, told the Globe.
In addition to the transfer arrangement, Steward also will transmit electronic medical records of each referred patient to Partners' hospitals, reported The Brockton Enteprise. Meanwhile, bread-and-butter surgeries such as gallstone removal will remain at the community hospitals, according to the article.
The trauma care alliance comes as hospitals, enticed by the promise of higher reimbursements and better outcomes, are increasingly adding trauma centers, opening up more than 200 since 2009 in more than 20 states, FierceHealthcare recently reported.