The Cooley Dickinson Board of Trustees voted Feb. 27 to negotiate an affiliation agreement with the MGH, which would help the Northampton, Mass. hospital develop and expand care programs and increase revenue.
“We are truly humbled that the leadership of Cooley Dickinson Hospital has placed its trust in Mass General
to help preserve and enhance the outstanding care that patients and families in western Massachusetts have counted on for so long,” said Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president. “We look forward to working with the Cooley Dickinson board, management, physicians and staff on the next phase of this process.”
Cooley Dickinson CEO Craig Melin said the deal with Mass General would grow programs and volume by bringing additional specialists to Northampton and by increasing the use of telemedicine. Some of the ways the MGH would help Cooley Dickinson reduce overhead costs include providing access to low-interest refinancing of $62 million in bonds, lower malpractice insurance cost, and group purchasing rates for big-ticket purchases, such as information technology systems.
David F. Torchiana, MD, chairman and CEO of the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, called
the pending relationship with Cooley Dickinson good news for both institutions. “Strengthening the relationship would enable caregivers at the two hospitals to communicate and collaborate more effectively, particularly around patients who may require highly specialized services,” Torchiana said. “As we all do our
best to prepare for the uncertainties that lie ahead for health care, the systems of care we establish will be increasingly important.”