After more than 100 years serving the South Shore as an independent medical center, Jordan Hospital is getting ready to become part of something bigger. The Boston Globe reported late last month that Boston health care giant Beth Israel Deaconess has signed a letter of intent to buy the hospital.
The move isn’t terribly surprising. Mergers and acquisitions among hospital systems have become common in recent years. Beyond the likely financial benefits of belonging to a bigger organization, hospitals are facing demands to take more responsibility for patients’ overall care, including working closely with their regular doctors and any specialists they see, as well as making sure they get preventative support like home health care. That’s something that can be much easier for a big organization than a small one.
According to the Globe, the 155-bed Plymouth hospital is one of the largest remaining independent hospitals in the state, and an attractive target for the bigger systems. In fact, before Beth Israel’s announcement, another major Boston hospital, Tufts Medical Center, had been working with for-profit Vanguard Health Systems on a possible takeover of Jordan.
Even if the acquisition makes business sense, it could be a difficult change for locals to adjust to, particularly if Jordan has been their go-to medical center for years. But a poll on the Wicked Local Plymouth website suggests the public is feeling OK about the transition. Asked what it would mean to Plymouth, 28 percent said there will be better medical care or more options for high-risk patients, 21 percent said Jordan picked the best partner possible, and another 20 percent said it will allow Plymouth to keep its own community hospital. On the other had 21 percent said some jobs will be lost as support functions are consolidated.
So, what do you think? Will the new ownership change things for the hospital’s patients? And how?