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Baystate Health announces planned changes to Eastern Region facilities and services

November 17, 2015

Baystate Health is announcing plans for a change in facilities and services in its Eastern Region, in line with its continuing efforts to provide the most effective and efficient care across western Massachusetts.

Baystate Health is seeking regulatory approval to integrate Baystate Wing Hospital and Baystate Mary Lane Hospital into a single-license regional hospital network. This change in status would allow a consolidation of regional inpatient services to the Baystate Wing campus in Palmer, and begin a transition of the Baystate Mary Lane campus in Ware into a regional outpatient services center. Pending the approval of state regulatory bodies, the change would be expected to take place in spring 2016.

Baystate Health will continue to provide outpatient services for the Ware community at Baystate Mary Lane. The region’s primary care network would not be affected by this change.

“Providing the right care in the right place at the right time is the notion that’s driving our efforts to evolve and succeed for our patients in the era of healthcare reform,” said Dr. Mark A. Keroack, president and CEO of Baystate Health. “Transitioning inpatient services to a single campus allows us to provide the safest and highest-quality hospital care at a single site. And it’s part of an important step forward in our approach to care: a growing focus on keeping people well and out of the hospital, rather than just treating them when they’re ill.”

With 74 beds, Baystate Wing Hospital has the ability, with its existing capacity, to care for patients who are now hospitalized at Baystate Mary Lane. The transition process will formally begin in December with applications by Baystate Health to Massachusetts regulatory authorities to consolidate both facilities onto a single license.

“On average, there are fewer than 10 patients being cared for on the inpatient unit at Baystate Mary Lane each day,” said Dr. Charles E. Cavagnaro III, president of Baystate Health’s Eastern Region. “Consolidating the region’s inpatients in one location would be a more efficient use of our limited resources at a time when all healthcare organizations need to receive and deliver the greatest possible value for every healthcare dollar spent,” said Cavagnaro.

“The larger facility allows for continuous critical-care monitoring, and the change allows a more effective provision of specialist care in the region. It also enables us to evaluate opportunities for new services at Baystate Mary Lane to continue to meet community needs.”

The move of inpatient services would lead to a reduction of jobs at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital. While Baystate Health is still finalizing its determination of ultimate job impact, this change is expected to affect 25-30 full-time positions. Baystate Health has a workforce transition policy that supports employees displaced by these changes in numerous ways, including offering placement into open positions within the health system for which they are qualified. Management and front-line employees will be affected.

“We are committed to a transparent process with our team members and our community throughout this period of change,” said Cavagnaro, “and we are hopeful that many of the affected employees will find positions within our Eastern Region or the Baystate Health system. We are grateful to all the region’s team members for their dedication and service.”