BIDMC And Lahey Health Boards Sign Letter of Intent To Explore Creating Combined System

(Boston and Burlington, MA) The Boards of Directors of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Lahey Health today announced they have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to explore creating a combined system, anchored by two nationally-recognized academic medical centers, that would deliver high quality, affordable care in communities throughout Eastern Massachusetts.

While there is a lot of work left to determine the specifics of a combined system, a number of significant items have been addressed. Most notably, the LOI specifies that a combined BIDMC and Lahey Health system will initially adopt a model of shared governance that will lead to full integration of the two systems in a way that fosters collaboration and innovation and brings value to patients and the state of Massachusetts.

Under this shared governance model:

  • Kevin Tabb, MD, current CEO of BIDMC, will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer of the combined system.
  • Ann-Ellen Hornidge, JD, current Chair of Lahey Health Board of Trustees, will assume the role of Chair of the Board of the combined system.
  • BIDMC will name six members to the combined system’s Board.
  • Lahey Health will name six members to the combined system’s Board.
  • Four to six independent members will be named to the combined system’s Board.

“Just over six years ago, I came to the Lahey Clinic because of the unique opportunity to help transform a revered physician group and medical center into a vibrant, innovative health care system. During the recruitment process, the Board and physician leaders agreed that we would have to grow rapidly and adopt a regional model to provide superior, community focused care at a reasonable cost,” said Howard R. Grant, MD, JD, President and CEO of Lahey Health. “We have successfully built our system with this focus, and our success has led us to the opportunity to affiliate with BIDMC. I am confident that the affiliation path will position Lahey Health for further success and growth. I have enormous confidence in the employees, management teams, medical staffs and Boards at Lahey Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and strongly believe that the combination of these organizations will be an enormous success and transformative for the Massachusetts health care market. I look forward to working to bring the benefits of this combined organization to the people of Massachusetts.”

“We are engaged in ongoing discussions, exploring the opportunity to combine our two systems and create the region’s premier integrated health care delivery system, one that would offer patients exceptional care and unparalleled value, while keeping care in the community whenever possible,” said Kevin Tabb, MD, CEO of BIDMC. “A combined system would be built on shared values and a mutual commitment to advancing care through research and education. Together, we would offer patients comprehensive, coordinated services across complementary geographies and help contain rising health care costs.”

The ongoing discussions will be guided by several principles:

  • Keeping care in the community, where we can offer high quality care management while improving health and access at a lower cost.
  • Maintaining and building on the independent strengths of each organization.
  • Embracing, supporting and valuing the role of all physicians, employees, nurses and other health professionals across the combined system.
  • Building on the strengths of existing research and medical education programs.

A combined system would see no change in approach to research or medical education, including medical school affiliations.

The combination of the BIDMC and Lahey systems will require various state and federal reviews and approvals.

About Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School and consistently ranks as a national leader among independent hospitals in National Institutes of Health funding.

BIDMC is in the community with Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth, Anna Jaques Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, Lawrence General Hospital, MetroWest Medical Center, Signature Healthcare, Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare, Community Care Alliance and Atrius Health. BIDMC is also clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and Hebrew Rehabilitation Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and the Jackson Laboratory. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit www.bidmc.org.

About Lahey Health

Lahey Health is what's next in health care, providing a full continuum of integrated health services close to where you live or work. It is comprised of nationally recognized, award-winning hospitals—including an academic hospital and medical center, and community hospitals—primary care providers, specialist physicians, behavioral health services, post-acute programs such as home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, and senior care resources located throughout northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.

Lahey Health offers nearly 1,400 locally based physicians providing clinical excellence and an exceptional patient experience in adult and pediatric primary care and every medical specialty, including kidney and liver transplantation; neurosurgery, cancer, cardiovascular and orthopedic medical and surgical care; local emergency and trauma care; urological surgery; chronic disease prevention and health management; and pediatric emergency, newborn and inpatient care provided in collaboration with Boston Children's Hospital physicians.

Lahey Health includes Lahey Hospital & Medical Center—a teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine—and Lahey Clinic physician group with practices in Burlington, Peabody and other locations throughout northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire; Beverly Hospital; Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester, Mass.; Winchester Hospital; Lahey Health Senior Care and Lahey Health Behavioral Services as well as more than 30 primary care physician practices and multiple outpatient and satellite specialty care facilities. Lahey Health is the official health care sponsor of the Boston Bruins.

Together, we are making innovative, integrated healthcare more personal and more accessible. For more information, visit LaheyHealth.org and its member websites Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Beverly Hospital, Winchester Hospital, and Lahey Health Behavioral Services.

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CONTACT: Jennifer Kritz | 617-667-7301 | jkritz@bidmc.harvard.edu
Chris Murphy | 781-744-2912 | Christopher.murphy@lahey.org