**Health care groups join forces
**ALBANY - Giving a nod to President Obama’s call to overhaul the health care system, St. Peter’s Health Care Services, Northeast Health and Seton Health announced Wednesday they’re affiliating.
The move has the potential to reshape our health care landscape.
“We can’t keep doing things the same old way and expect a different outcome,” said Northeast Health President and CEO Dr. James Reed.
That’s why, with some 12,000 employees and 125 facilities between them, the three local health care organizations entered into a memorandum of understanding with the goal of affiliating.
Talks began 18 months ago between St. Peter’s and Northeast. Seton joined Tuesday night.
If it works they say there’ll be improved cost control, health care quality and access to care.
“This affiliation supports the goal of the recent state Berger Commission by giving the organizations the ability to better adapt health care services to meet community need,” St. Peter’s Health Care President and CEO Steven Boyle said.
This is not a merger. The hospitals will maintain their identities, but a new board will be formed governing all three.
. . . . .
Part of the challenge in marrying two Catholic organizations, St. Peter’s and Seton, with a secular one is what happens to women’s reproductive services - specifically abortions. The answer, says the triumvirate, is to set up a women’s health program [sic] at Samaritan Hospital, with its own board of directors and its own license to provide all those services except abortions.
Forty-one abortions were performed at Samaritan last year. The folks involved figure between private doctors and Planned Parenthood women will still be served.
Is this legit, leaving one hospital with a “women’s health program”? I know these issues arise whenever Catholic hospitals merge with non-Catholic hospitals, which is happening more and more.
I did see a representative from PP on another channel “expressing her concern” that women will be denied a “access to a full range of choices” by the new arrangement. Ditto for the employees’ insurance plan, so if PP is that angry they must be doing something right.