HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, finds that both UMass Memorial Health Care and Saint Vincent Healthcare are entering a promising era of new growth. According to the latest issue of the Worcester Market Overview, all 12 hospitals in the Worcester, Mass. area are either owned by or affiliated with one of the two health systems.
"Both systems are under new managements, who understand that the market allows a lot of room for growth," said Patrick Powers, HealthLeaders- InterStudy senior analyst. "Central Massachusetts has a shortage of beds, with a ratio of beds to population that is 22 percent less than the national average. Both systems will have the same growth plan: increase bed counts, physicians, and services to keep Worcester patients from traveling to Boston for services. Look for some strong competition between them on quality and cost, which can only benefit patients."
The UMass Memorial system as a whole has become financially healthy after years of losses. Its success is due to healthy profit margins at the flagship UMass Memorial Medical Center, which help offset losses at smaller member hospitals, such as two-campus HealthAlliance Hospital and Clinton Hospital, and at its physician group, UMass Memorial Medical Group.
Saint Vincent Healthcare has posted losses since 2000, mostly due to the financial troubles of its former landlord, Dallas-based and financially troubled Tenet Healthcare. In January 2005, St. Vincent was bought by Vanguard Health Systems of Nashville, Tenn., which specializes in improving the profitability of poorly performing hospitals.
Other news about the Worcester healthcare market: * Worcester's dominant HMO, Fallon Community Health Plan (FCHP), is weathering a serious enrollment push by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. * The Central Massachusetts Independent Physicians Association has partnered with FCHP to offer grants of up to $5,000 to those physicians who incorporate an electronic medical record into their practice. About Market Overviews
Market Overviews provides a detailed analysis of local healthcare markets, allowing healthcare businesses to plan their local strategies.
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