Steward Health Care System eyes national expansion

Steward Health Care System plans to replicate its Massachusetts community hospitals nationwide, reports the Boston Globe. Steward CEO Ralph de la Torre revealed the plan to go national at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco this week.

The Boston-based company is developing a model of lower-cost, high-volume patient care that is unlike larger hospital organizations like Massachusetts General Hospital, Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic. "In a world of Neiman Marcuses, we're OK being Filene's," de la Torre  told investors.

Steward's national model will mimic the company's regional approach, with a very small centralized structure. To prepare for the national expansion, Steward is deploying information technology and establishing new delivery and payment systems to coordinate healthcare, operational efficiency, quality and safety, notes the Globe.

"The main goal of getting bigger in a region is to gain [patient] volume," de la Torre said. "You can no longer go to the insurance companies and demand higher rates. Those days are gone."

Steward, created by the new owner of Caritas Christi Health Care hospitals, owns six Catholic hospitals in Massachusetts. Steward's owner is Cerberus Capital Management, a New York-based private equity firm.

For more:
- read the Boston Globe article