BOSTON — The Mass. Public Health Council approved three determination-of-need (DON) requests to support Baystate Health’s efforts to modernize its facilities and improve access to, and quality and value of, healthcare for patients in Western Mass.
The approved requests relate to the transfer of ownership of Wing Memorial Hospital and Medical Centers to Baystate Health from UMass Memorial Health Care of Worcester; construction of new operating rooms at Baystate Franklin Medical Center to replace aging facilities; and construction of a new inpatient pharmacy in shell space in the MassMutual Wing at Baystate Medical Center.
“We’re very pleased to receive the approval of the Public Health Council for three initiatives that we expect to have a major positive impact on quality, access, and affordability of healthcare in Western Mass., and on our ability to continue to provide outstanding, high-value care for our patients close to where they live,” said Dr. Mark Keroack, president and CEO of Baystate Health.
With the council’s approval in place, the transfer of ownership of Wing, announced prospectively in December 2013, is now expected to be complete in September. Wing will become an affiliate of Baystate Health, and its approximately 800 employees will join Baystate. Baystate officials expect that Wing’s proximity to Baystate’s Western Mass. network will mean improved access to doctors, cost savings, better coordination of care, and better alignment with local public-health efforts for patients in the Palmer/Quaboag region. Wing and Baystate Mary Lane Hospital in Ware will operate in close coordination with each other and with other local healthcare providers, and patients’ current options for choosing providers will not be affected.
The Surgery Modernization Project at Baystate Franklin Medical Center (BFMC) in Greenfield addresses a need for contemporary facilities to replace the current ORs built in 1974, which will be renovated to relocate endoscopy services. The project, expected to begin this fall, will allow Franklin County and North Quabbin area residents to receive more healthcare services close to home, while also aiding in Baystate’s efforts to recruit additional physicians to the region.
Moving the inpatient pharmacy at Baystate Medical Center (BMC) enables pharmacists to meet patients’ growing needs in a state-of-the-art, safe, and secure facility in the newest wing of the Springfield teaching and research hospital.
The BFMC and BMC projects come with new community-benefit contributions from Baystate Health. BFMC’s Surgery Modernization Project will generate $228,921 per year for five years for community health-improvement projects in the Franklin County/North Quabbin region. The pharmacy at BMC comes with a community-benefit contribution of $342,146, which brings the total community benefit under the entire determination of need for the expansion of Baystate Medical Center to $13,144,765. Baystate’s Health’s community-benefit work at all of its hospitals is conducted in partnership with a wide array of community stakeholders to achieve the most inclusive process and effective outcomes possible.