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How huge Providence Health chain got back to pre-pandemic volumes

NEJM Catalyst editor-in-chief Tom Lee, M.D., talked with Amy Compton-Phillips, M.D., executive vice president and chief clinical officer of Providence Health & Services, the huge Seattle-based chain, with 51 hospitals and more than 800 clinics in western states, about clinical leadership as the company navigated the health crises of the past year, including COVID-19, hurricanes and massive wildfires, and got back to pre-pandemic volumes.

Among her remarks:

“….{W}e have this large-scale change infrastructure of vision, trust, data, capacity, and alignment. In COVID, the vision was very clear: survive COVID… so everybody knew exactly where we were going — we were trying to get to the other side of a pandemic. Trust. We had all worked together and trusted that each was doing their own job and not try to manage it but allow it to happen. Data. We built an amazing data architecture that has allowed us to have not only insight into what the outcomes are that we’re seeing, but also predictive analytics, and now we can see with pretty good fidelity about 2 weeks into the future….  Capacity. We were very creative in creating capacity, and now that capacity generation is going to serve us well into the future. Alignment has been really essential for us to be able to flex people into the roles that we need [in order for us] to [provide] care in a new way. [In terms of] the platforming article, I’m really glad we had that model before COVID hit because it allowed us to go from 0 to 60 very rapidly when we needed it.

To read the whole interview, please hit this link.

Providence Health likes to disrupt itself



Providence Health & Services has agreed to take over St. Joseph Health, creating a $20 billion-plus healthcare system with more than 50 hospitals in seven states. The two organizations — based in Renton, Wash., and Irvine, Calif., respectively — share a common Catholic heritage.

Hospitals & Health Networks reports that Providence has been a pioneer in drawing in talent and leadership from companies like Amazon and to help transform the consumer experience and core clinical operations.

In this article Providence and St. Joseph leaders  discuss a  Providence  system devoted to frequently disrupting itself to address clinical and reimbursement challenges.

Civil-rights groups worry about Walgreens-Catholic system clinics


19 civil-rights are concerned that three  healthcare clinics that have opened in  the Portland, Ore., area are part of an affiliation between Providence Health & Services, a Catholic system, and Walgreens. Three other Providence clinics have opened in Seattle-area Walgreens stores, with up to 19 others planned in the two states.

This is the first time that the huge drugstore chain has partnered with a Catholic hospital system.

The 19 groups worry about the expansion of health care guided by a religious doctrine, that, in Providence’s case, includes opposition to abortion, pharmaceutical-based birth control and aid in dying.

“In our states, we have consistently seen that when secular entities join with religious health systems, the services, information or referrals provided at the secular entity become limited by religious doctrine,” the joint letter  from the 19 groups said. They asked Walgreens to clarify its policy.

Advocate to buy 56 clinics from Walgreens


Advocate Health Care, Illinois’s largest health system,  will  buy  56 healthcare clinics that it will operate  in Walgreens drugstores  in metropolitan Chicago, The clinics will be renamed Advocate Clinics at Walgreens and open under Advocate in May.

Walgreens said that the move is part of its strategy to create “more innovative approaches with health systems.”

Walgreens  seems to have a strategy of pulling back from running clinics in its drugstores and instead turning to hospital systems. Just last year, Seattle-based Providence Health & Services, the third largest not-for profit health system in the United States, said it  would open 25 new retail clinics in Walgreens drugstores in Oregon and Washington.

Providence Health and Walgreens have clinic plan


Providence Health & Services  will lease space to operate healthcare clinics in Walgreens stores in Oregon and Washington State.

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