Baystate Children’s Hospital and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center have launched a new collaboration addressing potential ways to improve access to high-quality and high-value healthcare for children in western Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Pooling Resources and Talents
The two organizations both provide high-level inpatient pediatric and neonatal care as well as comprehensive outpatient services for children and adolescents. They will work together to determine whether they can increase the availability, sophistication and coordination of pediatric services throughout the Connecticut River Valley. The hospitals will also work with community pediatric providers to improve the overall health and wellness of children in the region. Both have been recognized by U.S. News and World Report among the top U.S. children’s hospitals.
"We recognize that an opportunity exists to bring together the talent, vision, and expertise of some of the leading health care providers in western and southern New England,"said Dr. Fernando Ferrer, Chief Physician Executive at Connecticut Children’s. "As the pediatric health care environment becomes more complex, the responsible approach is to consider what is in the best interests of our children and families. We are committed to working together with this in mind."
"Our two organizations have a lot in common: similar cultures of placing the patient at the very center of our focus, and strong commitments to the health of our communities in the broadest sense," said John Schreiber, MD, Chief Physician Executive of Baystate Health. "In these common traits, we see the foundations of a very successful collaboration."
"We believe that by finding ways to share resources, partner more closely with community pediatricians and position caregivers from each institution more flexibly between Springfield and Hartford, we can meet more of our patients’ needs for outstanding medical care close to home, no matter where in the Connecticut Valley they live," said Laura Koenigs, MD, interim Chair of Pediatrics at Baystate.
"In order to continue to deliver on the promise of providing exceptional health care to the region’s most vulnerable patients, the demand for creativity is clear," said Juan C. Salazar, Physician-in-Chief, Connecticut Children’s and Chair of Pediatrics at the UConn School of Medicine. "Together with our colleagues at Baystate Children’s, we have an opportunity to advance pediatric care, innovative pediatric research and collaborative training for medical students and residents, in a way that could provide the ultimate level of care for children and families in the region and keep our brightest and best health care professionals in our region."
Providing Better Care
Examples of areas where both organizations agree that a collaborative approach could improve access and quality of care include pediatric neurosurgery, ophthalmology, pulmonology and urology, all areas where current provider shortages can make getting care difficult for patients and families.
The proposed collaboration may extend beyond clinical care delivery as the organizations will also jointly explore the potential for expansion of a new pediatric accountable care organization (ACO) that is now being developed in western Massachusetts by Baycare Health Partners, Baystate’s affiliated physician-hospital organization. The goal of an expanded children’s ACO will be to improve the coordination of care between pediatric primary care providers, specialists and hospitals throughout the Connecticut River Valley. The ACO would also support the continuing development and implementation of healthcare quality measures specific to caring for children. It would continue the paradigm shift in the provision of care from treating children when they’re sick to focusing on keeping them well.
Another area of potential will be developing research collaborations between the organizations in order to expedite discovery and treatment of pediatric conditions.
"As a general pediatrician who sees children in Connecticut and Massachusetts, this agreement gives me great hope," said Dr. Richard Segool of Pioneer Valley Pediatrics, which has offices in Enfield, Ct., and Longmeadow, Mass. "There is a natural axis for families, employers, and medical providers up and down the Connecticut River Valley. This is going to scale up the clinical resources available for children and enable us to help more children stay close to home in receiving any kind of care they need. I look forward to actively participating in the ACO effort along with many of my fellow community physicians."
Connecticut Children’s is a clinical affiliate of the UCONN School of Medicine. Baystate Children’s is part of the western campus of Tufts University School of Medicine. Both facilities are Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.