By: Gary Gottlieb, MD, Partners HealthCare President and CEO

After conversations with the Attorney General’s office last week, we have taken an important step with regard to our affiliation plans with South Shore Hospital (SSH) and Hallmark Health System (HHS). The Attorney General made a public statement and a formal filing with the court yesterday.

We have listened and heard the public concerns, and in conjunction with the leadership at SSH, we have decided that the best approach is not to proceed with our plan to bring SSH into Partners. We are extremely grateful to the entire SSH community for their tireless commitment to our collective vision. We have a strong clinical affiliation with SSH and that will continue.

We are deeply appreciative of the support we received from the South Shore community, the political leaders, community organizations, residents and patients. There were scores of people who spoke generously in favor of our plan. I also want to thank all the people at Partners for their extraordinary diligence, working for years to try to bring this idea to reality; our goal was to build with SSH a long-lasting health care partnership that would have benefited the people of the South Shore for generations to come.

As for our plan to merge Hallmark Health into our system, Partners and the leadership at HHS agree that it is time to take a pause as we reflect on next steps. We will continue our conversations about how best to work together in the future. The HHS physician hospital organization is already a member of the Partners Community Physician Organization.

Our principal objective has been and will continue to be to improve care coordination for our patients and to bring the vast expertise of our academic medical centers, physicians and specialty services closer to their homes at great savings to society.

Our Population Health Management initiative is driven by clinical and financial integration of primary care physicians and community hospitals. We have shown that this connection can help promote a more effective and efficient pathway for our patients across our entire continuum of care. In order to achieve this success, we need to care for entire populations of patients and invest in services that will improve access for them and help them to navigate the system so they can make the best possible decisions about their care.

Our focus going forward will be to explore new opportunities to meet the growing health care needs of all of the communities we serve. We will do so in concert and support of our mission and the work that our employees do every day across our system. Their commitment to the highest standards of excellence and dedication to our patients are inspiring and will always be our guide for the future.

Topics: Legislation, Partners Corporate

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