Mass General Brigham lays out multi-year plan to integrate flagship hospitals

MGB will consolidate similar clinical departments at Mass General and Brigham and Women’s.

Article By: Susanna Vogel

Blog Source From : https://www.healthcaredive.com/

Dive Brief:

  • Mass General Brigham is merging the clinical and academic teams of its two flagship hospitals, Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s, according to an announcement Wednesday. The transition will take place over the next several years.
  • David Brown, Mass General’s current president, will oversee the hospitals’ clinical departments as president of the combined academic medical centers. Marcela del Carmen and Giles Boland will serve as presidents of Mass General and Brigham and Women’s, respectively.
  • As part of the restructuring, MGB will also create interdepartmental disease-focused institutes, according to the announcement.

Dive Insight:

Mass General Brigham formed 30 years ago as Partners HealthCare, joining together two of Boston’s oldest hospitals — Mass General and Brigham and Women’s — in the process. It rebranded to MGB in 2019 and has since become the state’s largest health system and private employer

However, its flagship facilities typically operated independently and at times even competed with one another, according to Anne Klibanski, president and chief executive of Mass General Brigham, who discussed the reorganization in an interview with WBUR.

Under this initiative, Klibanski is calling on the hospitals to work together.

“If we want to be the best, highest-quality, safest and most respected health system in the country in service of our patients, the great departments across our academic centers must plan and work together as one,” Klibanski said in a news release.

Through the restructuring, comparable clinical departments at Mass General and Brigham and Women’s will become one, led by a singular chair, according to the announcement. Transition timelines will depend on department size and complexity.

Klibanski told WBUR that the number of clinical departments system-wide will shrink post-restructuring from nearly three dozen to 18. While some jobs may be eliminated or changed as a result, Brown told the outlet that the health system wasn’t planning to make significant job cuts.

Brown, who is tasked with overseeing the transition alongside MGB’s chief integration officer, O’Neil Britton, said the restructuring will help MGB more efficiently deliver patient care.

“Our two amazing academic medical centers are so alike that bringing together the strengths of both will allow us to be a much more impactful enterprise in service of our patients,” Brown said in the announcement. 

The health system did not cite cost-cutting as a goal of the restructuring, however, the system has eyed expenses in recent years.

The health system was required to file a performance improvement plan with the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission in 2022 after the agency determined the system’s spending between 2014 and 2019 was out of line with expectations. 

MGB closed out last year by cutting workers in its tech division after offering voluntary separation agreements.

The health system finished its fiscal year 2023 with a slight negative operating margin of -0.3%.

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