By Jill Zorn
The newly formed Value Care Alliance consists of seven hospitals: Griffin Hospital in Derby, Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London, Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, and Western Connecticut Health Network—which is composed of Danbury, New Milford and Norwalk Hospitals.
This is a welcome and creative alternative to the merger mania taking place in Connecticut’s hospital marketplace. Hartford HealthCare now consists of six hospitals. Yale New Haven Health Systems has three hospitals under its umbrella and is collaborating with for-profit Tenet Healthcare Corporation on the acquisition of four more. Tenet is also proposing on its own to take over St. Mary’s in Waterbury.
In contrast to the current trend of hospital consolidations and conversions, the Alliance is being described as a “partnership” that has the potential to offer member hospitals the best of both worlds as they seek to respond to the challenges of the rapidly changing health care environment. They can share best practices, gain purchasing efficiencies and offer new service and payment arrangements while still retaining their independence, non-profit status and ties to their local communities.
The roll-out of the Value Care Alliance is a “must-watch” in the ever-changing hospital landscape. Connecticut consumers should stay tuned.