Clipboard: Steward Health Care hires top heart surgeon from Mass. General
Liz Kowalczyk reports in today’s Globe that Steward Health Care, a fast-growing for-profit hospital system, has hired a top surgeon from Massachusetts General Hospital. The move highlights Steward’s strategy as it remakes its chain of struggling community hospitals purchased since 2010: win back patients now going to Boston’s major teaching hospitals for routine surgery.
Dr. Arvind Agnihotri was director of minimally invasive and robotic heart surgery at Mass. General. He will lead cardiac surgery at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton. Kowalczyk writes:
Agnihotri’s hiring may allow St. Elizabeth’s, which performs about 280 heart operations annually, a relatively small number, to double that caseload, said Dr. Frank Pomposelli, chairman of surgery at St. Elizabeth’s.
“A lot of patients are going to our competitors,’’ he said. “If we put the talent in place, we can legitimately say [to referring doctors], ‘Why are you sending patients there?’ You have to give physicians and patients a choice that is comparable.’’
Preventing primary care patients from leaving Steward for routine surgery is crucial to its strategy of providing high quality care more cheaply than competitors. Steward is signing a growing number of contracts with health insurers that pay it a budgeted amount to care for groups of patients; when those patients get care elsewhere, Steward may have to reimburse a competitor at its rates.
Pomposelli was hired from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center last year to rebuild St. Elizabeth’s surgery department, Kowalczyk reports.
Steward also has wooed large physician groups, including Hawthorn Medical Associates in New Bedford, which was affiliated with Partners HealthCare, Mass. General’s parent organization. Last year, the hospital group nabbed another Partners group and a large physician organization previously affiliated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.Chelsea Conaboy can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @cconaboy.
About white coat notes
|White Coat Notes covers the latest from the health care industry, hospitals, doctors offices, labs, insurers, and the corridors of government. Chelsea Conaboy previously covered health care for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @cconaboy.|
Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor
Elizabeth Comeau, Senior Health Producer