Two Boston Hospitals to Join

Beth Israel Deaconess and Cambridge Health Alliance will form a partnership.


Two Boston hospitals set to join forces. Photo via Shutterstock

If you thought Boston hospitals were awesome already, we have more good news for you. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) announced today that the two will be forming a clinical and academic partnership to enhance the overall quality of care for their patients. If approved by Massachusetts’ Health Policy Commission, CHA physicians will join Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization starting January 1, 2014.

BIDMC is considered one of the best hospitals in Boston, and CHA provides quality treatment at its three hospital campuses and string of community care centers. The merger, if approved, will give BIDMC access to the community care CHA offers, and CHA will have BIDMC’s expertise for complex medical issues; the two will team up on research and teaching. A report from BIDMC quotes leaders of both institutions:

“We are excited to join forces with one of the nation’s preeminent academic medical centers to provide high-quality, coordinated, and cost-effective care in our patients’ local communities,” said Patrick Wardell, Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge Health Alliance, which operates three hospital campuses and a network of primary and specialty care practices in Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston’s metro-north communities. “At the heart of this partnership is a mutual commitment to improve the health of the communities we serve.”

“Cambridge Health Alliance has a proud history of providing quality care to its communities,” said Kevin Tabb, MD, BIDMC’s President and CEO. “It is exactly the kind of quality community healthcare provider we embrace as vital to our growing network of hospitals and physicians. This affiliation represents an important part of our strategy of working with community health care providers to deliver the right care in the right place at the right time.”

The report notes that the two organizations use compatible medical records software, a seemingly inconsequential coincidence, but one that will help make the transition seamless. Both are also Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals that have traditionally placed a strong emphasis on community service and quality healthcare for all. Wardell says in the report:

“This is an important component of our transformation into a high-performing, high-value health system that can better adapt to a rapidly changing marketplace with new payment models that aim to improve population health,” added Wardell.