Why Boston Children's Hospital is expanding outside of Massachusetts

21 May 2015 4:25 PM | Brian Kelley (Administrator)

retrieved from Boston Business Journal  
May 21, 2015  |  Jessica Bartlett

Children’s has acquired its first ever primary care physician group – and it’s not in Massachusetts.

The pediatric institution is finalizing a deal to acquire Children’s & Women’s Physicians of Westchester (CWPW), a group of more than 276 physicians across 57 locations in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.

Executives wouldn’t disclose the terms of the deal, but said they expect it to be finalized by July.

Dr. Kevin Churchwell, executive vice president of health affairs and chief operating officer at Children’s, details why Children’s sought out connections out of state, and what the changes could be long-term.

How did this relationship come about?

This has been over a year of discussion, to be honest with you. It started as a mutual (conversation as) to what the possibilities were or could be between the two groups, knowing we had a history of referrals from the New York area and had relationships with CWPW in Westchester hospital system. The more we talked the more we realized there was a significant amount of synergies of our belief, values, commitment to patients and recognizing how the landscape of healthcare would change. There would be a great relationship of us working together.

How will this affiliation work?

They will be part of our community of care as we continue to develop our northeastern pediatric network. They will have their appointments with the New York medical college and their medical staff for Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center - and that won’t change. They will also be part of our continuum. We will have the intricacies of their board and decision-making we’re working through, but they will be part of Children’s from that standpoint. They will have local administrative oversight there, with Children’s being the parent and helping support that. It’s new for us so we will continue to work through these intricacies as we develop it over the next year or two years.

You mentioned you’ve already had referrals from New York, so why is this advantageous to Children’s?

It’s more about patients and the family. We recognize that Children’s is a local, regional, national, international destination for patients with special problems. …they also recognize that there is gap in the continuum of care in patients coming to us and being sent back and how the continuum is lacking and impacts the quality of care we need to provide…

We’ll have constant communication, the ability to have an impact of care quality at the local level, from resources but also just the protocols that we have and that they have…especially with those children with tertiary (and higher) care needs. That’s important and the future of medicine…expecting that those children will be at Children’s and will have an easy referral to us and that we can refer back and make sure care remains local.

Will this change CWPW physician rates?

That’s a great question. Rates continue to change. We expect the rates won’t change overnight but they will be most likely some adaptation with our involvement that we will see, that will be impacted by the landscape but by different legislation and the needs of patients and payers. We will see how that’s going to evolve.

How many affiliated physicians does Children’s currently have?

Within children’s we have our departments that are part of the Boston children’s hospital enterprise. That’s a lot of physicians, over 1,000 (approximately 1,300) – specialists in our department and in our permanent care practice that is children’s based.

We don’t own a primary care practice outside of Children’s. We have alliances within New England, and that is through the Pediatric Physicians' Organization at Children's Hospital Boston (a 300-physician group of doctors at more than 75 practices throughout Eastern Massachusetts) – but we don’t own those practices.

We will purchase the CWPW practice.


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