GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

October 12, 2013

My View: Lahey Health CEO Howard Grant

On Tuesday, Oct. 15, Denis Conroy, chief executive officer of Addison Gilbert and Beverly hospitals, along with Cindy Cafasso Donaldson, vice president of Addison Gilbert Hospital, will host a Cape Ann community forum and welcome all residents to attend.

The Cape Ann community forum is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 15 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, and it offers the community an opportunity to hear from Denis and Cindy about the successes and momentum achieved at Addison Gilbert Hospital.

In addition, I would like to share some of the opportunities for Addison Gilbert Hospital as a member of Lahey Health and discuss how our model of healthcare is working.

Our approach at Lahey Health is a simple one: If we keep people healthy and subsequently out of the hospital, care for those who are sick near where they live and work, and reserve high cost medical centers for only the sickest patients, we can crack the quality-safety-cost “code” on health care in a way we have not been able to until now.

Stuart Altman, health care economist and chairman of the Health Policy Commission Board, was recently quoted in the Boston Globe as saying, “One of the reasons that Massachusetts is so expensive is that we disproportionately use our most expensive facilities for routine care. That’s where the money goes.” Altman suggests that health-care providers should offer appropriate care in community settings, and use larger teaching and research hospitals only for more complex services.

We could not agree more. It is why we formed Lahey Health.

In Eastern Massachusetts we are fortunate to have a remarkable selection of superb healthcare resources with incredible scope: basic science research intensive centers, teaching and clinical research hospitals and great community hospitals.

However, in our region, many more patients get hospital care in higher cost centers compared to other major metropolitan areas in the country – including New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

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