Morton Hospital to Join Steward

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Steward partnership offers Morton Hospital community new resources, increased financial stability and continued commitment to community health

Taunton, MA - April 5, 2011 - Morton Hospital and Medical Center today announced that its Board of Trustees has voted unanimously and entered into and executed an asset purchase agreement to be acquired by Steward Health Care System LLC. (Steward), the largest community-based accountable care organization and community hospital network in New England. 

"Steward possesses all of the key attributes we were looking for in a partner.  They not only bring the extensive resources and experience of a community-based hospital system, they also have a steadfast commitment to quality programs and expansion of services at the local level.  As we all know, health care is changing.  Steward has built a robust care system that not only embraces those changes but is positioned to succeed in the new health care environment.  By joining Steward, Morton will be able to leapfrog our competitors by three years due to Steward's extensive investment in clinical information technology.  As both a healthcare resource and an employer, Steward will strengthen this community," said Maureen Bryant, President and CEO of Morton Hospital.  "The Board and I could not be more pleased to have identified a partner that not only has the resources to support continued growth in Taunton, but shares our commitment to our patients, employees, Medical Staff and community."

Steward's accountable care organization (ACO) is built around a large network of Massachusetts physicians and a system of community hospitals.  Over the past 3 years, Steward has invested over $100 million dollars in clinical information technology to generate enhanced efficiency and communication among network physicians.  This network includes significant information technology, a robust care management system and strong partnerships between private practice physicians and their hospitals.  By joining Steward, Morton will be able to deliver high quality care at a lower cost to the health care consumer.  This regional, physician-centric-model is unique to Steward.  Steward has also embraced payment reform and has built a system-wide infrastructure that enabled Steward physicians to accept global payment contracts from insurers.  Under these contracts, Steward physicians have the ability to practice medicine as they see fit and are financially rewarded for keeping patients healthy.

"Our mission is to keep care in the community by investing in our hospitals, growing our world-class physician network and bringing the latest medical technology to the community hospital setting," said Ralph de la Torre, M.D. CEO of Steward Healthcare System.  "We believe that patients should not have to travel to get their care, rather it is our role is to bring world class care to patients where they live."

"Steward is committed to the communities that we serve.  We conduct robust community benefits programs to make a positive impact on public health and we are committed to providing world-class care to everyone in need, regardless of their ability to pay," said de la Torre.

About Morton Hospital

Morton Hospital and Medical Center is a 154-bed hospital primarily concerned with maintaining and restoring the health of people who live or work in the central part of Southeastern Massachusetts.  

About Steward Health Care

Steward Health Care is the largest community-based accountable care organization and community hospital network in New England.  Headquartered in Boston, Steward has more than 13,000 employees serving more than one million patients annually in 85 communities.  Hospitals in the system include Saint Anne's in Fall River, Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Brighton, Norwood Hospital, Carney Hospital in Dorchester, and Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton.  Other Steward Health Care entities include Steward Physician Network, Caritas Hospice and Home Care, Laboure College, and Por Cristo.   Further information is available at www.steward.org

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