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Consolidating pediatric care

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Christopher Dawes, CEO of Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, in California, discusses how pediatric healthcare providers  are consolidating to improve care coordination.

For example, he told FierceHealthcare, some larger freestanding children’s facilities “are beginning to get bigger because they’re either acquiring smaller children’s hospitals or creating their own campuses in separate regions.”

Stanford Children’s Health has entered joint ventures with two community-based health systems in the area, Sutter Health’s California Pacific Medical Center, in San Francisco, and John Muir Health, in Walnut Creek, to expand pediatric specialty services.  The network is also expanding access in Northern California with pediatric-specialty centers in Emeryville, Capitola, Los Gatos, Fremont, Palo Alto and Sunnyvale, which opens in May.

Part of the success of such ventures, he told Fierce ,has been meticulous attention to cultural alignment between parties when such consolidation occurs. For example, “we hired a medical director who understands our community-based practice,” he said. The Lucile Packard approach to consolidation has been to “come alongside” new partners rather than taking over for them

Meanwhile, Mr. Dawes and other healthcare leaders are lobbying for the Advancing Care for Exceptional Kids Act, bipartisan legislation to improve care delivery and coordination for Medicaid pediatric patients with complex conditions. “An increase in such patients has led numerous hospitals to dedicate specific clinics to their care, many of which operate at a loss,” FierceHealthcare previously reported.

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