Healthcare

Baptist Health South Florida to explore partnerships with Bethesda Health in Palm Beach County

 

dchang@MiamiHerald.com

Baptist Health South Florida, the largest hospital system in the region, has begun talks with Bethesda Health, a hospital network in Palm Beach County, to explore potential partnerships and affiliations up to and including a merger, according to executives of the two not-for-profit healthcare groups.

Talks between the two hospital systems have just started, and they’re motivated by changes in the industry — many brought about by the Affordable Care Act — that will reward those healthcare groups that can most effectively treat patients across different settings, from primary-care physicians to specialists, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and medical homes.

“Looking forward, we believe that there will be a lot of consolidation in the industry,’’ said Roger Kirk, chief executive of Bethesda Health, which is headquartered in Boynton Beach and operates two hospitals, a physician’s group and other healthcare facilities.

“We think there’s strength in numbers,’’ he said, “and being a larger player, not only in our community but throughout’’ South Florida.

While no formal agreements have been announced, Wayne Brackin, chief operating officer for Baptist Health, said he sees opportunities for the two hospital systems to partner on medical centers of excellence and certain clinical specialties.

Baptist Health, which includes six hospitals in Miami-Dade and one in Monroe County, already operates outpatient and urgent care centers in Broward County. Palm Beach is a natural extension, Brackin said.

“Both Bethesda and Baptist Health are interested in expansion of outpatient opportunities in the Palm Beach areas, as well as the northern part of Broward,’’ he said, “and Bethesda Health, with its strong and significant medical staff, would really give some foundation to an expansion of an outpatient strategy.’’

Before any formal partnership is reached, however, executives from both healthcare groups first will pore over each other’s clinical programs, operational strategies and financial records.

“A total opening of the books,’’ Kirk said.

Baptist and Bethesda already share some similarities. Both are not-for-profit institutions, and they use the same electronic medical records systems — a key part of integrated healthcare that allows physicians to more easily share patient data.

But both healthcare groups are hoping for something bigger: namely, to expand their reach across a broader geographical area.

“Our position is that where we end up ultimately in the relationship is significantly in the hands of the team at Bethesda,’’ Brackin said. “But we believe that everything’s on the table.’’

Read more Healthcare Reform stories from the Miami Herald

  • Memorial Regional Hospital’s heart program accredited

    Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood recently earned certification from The Joint Commission, the nation’s largest healthcare accrediting group, for a cardiac therapy program designed to treat patients with end-stage heart failure who are not eligible for a transplant — making Memorial the first hospital in Broward County to receive the designation.

  •  
Jacinto Garrido’s mother died in 2010. Garrido filed a complaint against her doctor.

    Healthcare

    State seeks harsher penalty against Miami physician

    Department of Health officials intend to appeal a final order by the state Board of Medicine, which in June voted to revoke a Miami physician’s license — then minutes later reversed its ruling and reduced the penalty.

  •  
Dr. Bruce Eisenberg, a pediatrician, looks at Jordan Ellison, a patient in his office on Miami Beach. Reimbursement rates for pediatricians in Florida have improved under the Affordable Care Act, but they may revert to their previously levels once ACA funding runs out at the end of this year.

    Affordable Care Act | Florida

    Pediatricians in Florida could see relief from low Medicaid payments

    A possible resolution of a lawsuit against Florida health and child-welfare officials could mean that physicans will receive what they consider to be adequate compensation.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category