By Jonathan Phelpsjphelps@eagletribune.com
---- — LAWRENCE — The Board of Trustees and partners of Lawrence General Hospital gathered yesterday afternoon to celebrate a partnership with the state in an initiative to bring integrated care and alternative payment models to Massachusetts safety net hospitals.
The special guest at the event was Dr. JudyAnn Bigby, the state’s secretary of health and human services.
Dianne Anderson, president and CEO of LGH, said the partnership marks the transformation of health care in the Merrimack Valley helping to create a high-quality, low-cost health system.
“Dr. Bigby has long realized our potential here and has been a true advocate for us to achieve this vision,” Anderson said.
Under what is known as Delivery System Transformation Initiative, $628 million in funds has been made available across seven hospitals in the state. Lawrence General is eligible to receive up to $43 million over three years.
The initiative, funded by state and federal funds, will allow the hospitals to invest in integrated care, electronic safety and quality innovations and infrastructure to support alternative payment models.
Anderson said the initiative will help patients from “falling through the cracks.”
“Together we know we can make a real difference to ensure the highest quality of care and the best outcomes for our patients,” she said.
Bigby said Lawrence General can be a model for other safety net hospitals on how to move health care forward in the future.
“The initiative is a prime example of the commonwealth’s commitment to health care reform innovation,” she said. “We can’t sit on our morals and just keep patting ourselves on the back for achieving near universal coverage.”
Bigby said LGH has shown “deep commitment” to the the Delivery System Transformation Initiative. The hospital has already qualified for $14 million of the $63 million, she said.
State Sen. Barry Finegold, D-Andover and state Rep. Marcos Devers, D-Lawrence, also attended.