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New Agreement Builds On 60 Years of Collaboration to Improve Transitions of Care

BIDMC, Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at BIDMC and Hebrew SeniorLife sign preferred provider agreement

BOSTON - After 60 years of a close working relationship, Hebrew SeniorLife and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, along with Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at BIDMC, have signed a formal preferred provider agreement. The agreement is a recommitment of a 60-year clinical affiliation which aims to provide the highest quality, cost-effective hospital and post-hospital care, including ensuring seamless transition between institutions.

Driven by a commitment to reduce avoidable hospitalization and readmission, the goals of the agreement are to improve transitions of care for patients, other quality care metrics such as improved access, as well sharing of electronic medicals records to ensure timely and accurate communication about patients shared between institutions.

It also expands the possible scope of services beyond Hebrew SeniorLife's traditional post-acute and long-term care. Potential areas of future collaboration include home health, evidenced-based prevention and wellness services, and programs for healthy aging communities.

"We have a long, proud and successful relationship with Beth Israel Deaconess, and now, with this agreement, we are jointly focused on the value proposition for seniors of quality care at an affordable cost," said HSL CEO Len Fishman.

"Our relationship has deep roots within the Boston community and we share the same values of delivering high quality, cost effective care," said BIDMC President and CEO Kevin Tabb MD. "Those are fundamental building blocks for a health care system that is truly patient centered."

While the agreement is not exclusive, the clinical affiliation reflects a strong preferential relationship. Each of the three parties - HSL, BIDMC and HMFP - will also collaborate with other health care providers to serve specific geographic diversity of their patient populations.

"We look forward to working together to establish the best possible outcomes for our patients, particularly reducing the potential for avoidable acute-care admissions and readmissions," added Stuart Rosenberg, MD, President and CEO of HMFP. He noted that the range of services being provided are important services for managing populations of patients and coordinating their care under global risk contracts.

HSL and BIDMC will also focus on programs to improve communications between patients and families and their primary care physicians and specialists when patients are transferred between facilities, ensuring clarity about each patient's clinical status and a seamless transition of care plans and goals of care.

"This arrangement goes to the heart of what reforming the health care system is about - making sure our shared patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time," said HSL President Lou Woolf.

The agreement formalizes bonds that date to at least 1950 when Harry Derow, MD, an internist at Beth Israel Hospital, became the first physician in chief at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for the Aged and created a blueprint for HSL's medical organization and program of care. Today, Lewis Lipsitz, MD, serves the dual role as Chief of the Division of Gerontology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Vice President, Academic Medicine and Director of the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew Senior Life .

Founded in 1903, Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, is a recognized national leader in the field of senior care dedicated to rethinking, researching and redefining the possibilities of aging. Based in Boston, the non-profit, non-sectarian organization provides senior healthcare and communities, research into aging, and education for geriatric care providers. Hebrew Rehabilitation Center is an integral part of Hebrew SeniorLife, offering post-acute and long-term care services at two locations in Boston and Dedham. For more information about Hebrew SeniorLife, visit www.hebrewseniorlife.org.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and currently ranks third in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.

BIDMC has a network of community partners that includes Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham Anna Jaques Hospital, Lawrence General Hospital, Commonwealth Hematology-Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare, Community Care Alliance, Atrius Health and Hebrew SeniorLife. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit www.bidmc.org.