Tuesday, January 29, 2019


Experts debate whether patients benefit when community hospitals join with major institutions

Kaiser Health News (1/28, Boodman) discusses “a much-touted but little understood collaboration in health care: alliances between community hospitals and some of the nation’s biggest and most respected institutions.” Experts warn that “affiliation with a famous name is not a guarantee of quality.” In some instances, “it’s purely branding and in other cases it’s a deep association,” one expert said. He added, “A key question is ‘how often does the community hospital interact with the flagship hospital? If it’s once a week, that’s one thing. If it’s almost never, that’s another.’” The article says it remains to be seen if patients benefit from these affiliations. The piece adds that in order to increase “their reach, flagship hospitals including Mayo, the Cleveland Clinic and Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center have signed affiliation agreements with smaller hospitals around the country.”