HealthLeaders-InterStudy, the leading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that the regional dominance of UMass Memorial Health Care has pushed its competitors into partnerships with Boston hospitals. According to the latest Worcester Market Overview, other hospitals in the area are resorting to partnerships with Boston hospitals, which are prepared to tap into the moderately growing Worcester market for referrals.
"As the central Massachusetts hospital market continues to improve, expect increased ties with Boston and greater competition between health systems," states Mark Cherry, market analyst for HealthLeaders-InterStudy and author of the report.
Saint Vincent Hospital announced a new affiliation with Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. Starting in July 2007, a full rotation of seven of Beth Israel's surgical residents started monthly rotations at Saint Vincent. That same month, Beth Israel took over Saint Vincent's cardiothoracic surgery program, which had been run by Tufts-New England Medical Center. The Boston hospital also staffed the Worcester hospital's emergency and radiation oncology departments. The hospital's surgical residency program with BIDMC comes after UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial ended such programs with Saint Vincent.
Milford Regional has increased its ties to Partners HealthCare System, the state's preeminent health system with several hospitals in downtown Boston, including Brigham and Women's and Massachusetts General. Because of its proximity to the capital city, Milford Regional is particularly susceptible to competition from hospitals serving Boston's western suburbs. Milford Regional had already been collaborating with Partners and Dana-Faber Cancer Institute on a $25 million cancer center that is set to open in January 2008.
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