Two hospitals in the Southern Adirondack region have begun discussions to examine possible opportunities for collaboration and cooperation.
Recently, the Saratoga Hospital Board of Trustees and Glens Falls Hospital Board of Governors agreed to begin to formally look for ways for possible future “alignment and collaboration.”
The two healthcare providers already cooperate in certain areas, including some medical specialties and comprehensive cancer care.
Angelo Calbone, president and CEO of Saratoga Hospital, said part of what’s driving the decision to pursue more options for collaborations are the changes in the way healthcare is delivered as seen on a statewide and national level.
“You know, less inpatinent-centered, the economics of healthcare of shrinking core hospital utilization, and squeezing payment rates.”
Calbone said it made sense for Saratoga Hospital, with 171 beds, to look to its neighbor in Glens Falls.
“We’re not starting with programmatic or specific ideas, it’s more about understanding our communities’ organizations, where are strengthens, where we see our collective futures, and try to develop a relationship and understanding of what we think the best future for both of us may be, then move to specific discussions,” said Calbone.
Dianne Shugrue, president and CEO of Glens Falls Hospital, said that after her organization experienced a more financially difficult 2013, the hospital is looking to the future.
“I’m happy to say that we’ve emerged in 2014 with a very strong operating plan coming to fruition having just posted our fourth consecutive operating game in a row as we finish up our financials for April,” said Shugrue
Over the past year, in addition to hiring new leadership positions within the organization, Glens Falls Hospital has made connections within the Adirondack region by joining the Adirondack Health Insitute, and the formation of Adirondacks ACO, or accountable care organization.
Glens Falls Hospital has 2600 employees and 27 health service locations, and is the largest employer in its region. As it looks for new ways to collaborate and improve, Shugrue said the company and Saratoga Hospital are now at the “beginning of an exploration.”
“They are challenged with the same challenges we are, in terms of the changing healthcare arena,” said Shugrue. “Both of us believe that it is important to our communities that we maintain a local presence for healthcare. We are community hospitals and that’s our mission.”
Discussions will take place throughout the year, and will involve administrators and physicians, as well as community stakeholders in the Glens Falls and Saratoga regions.
In 2013, Saratoga Hospital also opened its Emergent Care Center located off Exit 12 in Malta, a collaboration with Albany Medical Center.