ROME — The top official at Rome Memorial Hospital (RMH) says it’s “becoming more and more clear” that individual hospitals “by themselves” are having a “difficult time and will continue to struggle in navigating through the health-care system.”
RMH CEO David Lundquist calls St. Joseph’s Health in Syracuse a “great partner.”
“They’ve demonstrated over the past year that they are philosophically aligned with our culture of patient-centric care and we’ve worked with them in a variety of different ways that continue to show that support that allow us to look at the services we provide, strengthen them so that we can serve our community better,” says Lundquist.
He spoke with CNYBJ on March 14.
St. Joseph’s Health and Rome Memorial Hospital on March 9 announced that they have finalized an affiliation agreement they had first announced “less than a year ago.”
They’re referring to the affiliation as a “collaborative relationship in pursuit of mutual goals to expand patient access to needed services in the community,” per a joint news release issued that same day.
RMH will continue to operate as an independent, separately licensed hospital with community representatives providing local governance.
The affiliation means that RMH can take advantage of certain services through St. Joseph’s Health, such as its hospitalist service.
“They have a hospitalist service that has qualified physicians … and we’re working with them to provide our hospitalist service,” says Lundquist.
A hospitalist is a physician that’s located in the hospital 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They work in shift rotations, Lundquist says, and he describes the service as an “industry trend”
Lundquist says that “in the old days,” private-practice physicians would come to the hospital “every day” and serve as the admitting and treating physician in the hospital.
Now, the doctor can work with the hospitalist to admit a patient and then treat the patient during the individual’s stay in the hospital, he adds.
“We are very excited about our relationship with Rome Memorial Hospital because it creates a seamless connection between our health-care systems, improving patients’ access to the highest level of care,” Leslie Luke, president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health, said in the March 9 release. “St. Joseph’s and RMH share the mutual goal of making health care more accessible in local communities by coordinating resources.”
Luke succeeded the now-retired Kathy Ruscitto as St. Joseph’s president and CEO on Feb. 20.
RMH and St. Joseph’s announced plans to affiliate in March 2016. Since then, they say “progress has already been made” toward creating a regional, “integrated,” health-care delivery network.
RMH and its affiliated physician practices joined the St. Joseph’s accountable-care organization and clinically integrated network,
“These are terms that are prevalent in health care at this point. They describe a network that allows hospitals to work together — hospitals and physicians and other providers — [and] allows us to work within a network framework and enjoy the benefits of being part of something much bigger than just individual organizations,” says Lundquist.
St. Joseph’s Health formed its accountable-care organization and clinically integrated network to focus on healthcare’s “triple aim.”
“Triple aim” seeks to “improve the patient experience of care, improve the health of populations, and reduce the per capita cost of health care,” per the release.
Contact Reinhardt at email@example.com
David Lundquist is president and CEO of Rome Memorial Hospital. (Photo provided by Rome Memorial Hospital)