EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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May 8, 2014

LGH: New affiliation helps keep it local

Hospital strives to grow as 'regional medical center'

LAWRENCE ­— Lawrence General Hospital is seeking to strengthen its position as an independent regional medical center by offering a wider variety of specialized services at more reasonable costs under an enhanced affiliation with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, hospital officials said yesterday.

“It allows us to stay independent as a locally governed hospital,” Lawrence General President and CEO Dianne J. Anderson told The Eagle-Tribune.

Lawrence General has had a clinical affiliation with Beth Israel since 2011. But, by joining what is called the Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization (BIDCO), LGH will be able to take advantage of a “structure” to share risk “with the goal of providing the highest quality care in the most cost-efficient way,” LGH said in a statement.

During an interview, Anderson stressed the new affiliation means patients from the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire can get the same level of care and specialized treatment, such as interventional cardiac care, closer to home instead of having to go into Boston where costs could be significantly greater.

This is also good news for the low income population of Lawrence, according to Anderson

“This is more convenient for everyone. It can be stressful to go into Boston. Not everyone has the transportation for that,” she said.

“We will be able to provide more services and allow people to stay locally. If we can’t provide a specific service, we can arrange with them to go to Boston and make that transition quicker,” Anderson said.

“High value means high quality, in the most appropriate care setting, at the lowest possible cost,” said Anderson, who has a background in nursing. “We have the capability at Lawrence General, for example, to provide interventional cardiology services – in a center that meets the quality standards for full accreditation from Accreditation in Cardiac Excellence – for a fraction of the cost of the same care in Boston.”

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