Officials at Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh and Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore have ratified a five-year agreement to collaborate on cancer
care, research, education and quality improvement.
The agreement could spur cancer-care competition in the greater Pittsburgh area. Allegheny is part of Highmark
, the Pittsburgh-based health insurer that became an integrated delivery system after acquiring eight-hospital Allegheny last year. Its primary competitor, UPMC
, has the region's only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, one of the highest recognitions for cancer care and research. Johns Hopkins' Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center also holds that designation.
The deal, first announced in January, will allow Johns Hopkins and Allegheny physicians to consult on rare cancer cases and new therapies. Also, an undisclosed amount of money will be made available over the five years for physicians at each system to conduct discovery research. Continuing medical education programs for Allegheny clinicians and joint quality and safety projects also will be developed.
Patients with the most complex cancer needs could be sent to Johns Hopkins' facility, but officials said the Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute will be a primary focus for much of the collaboration. —Bob HermanFollow Bob Herman on Twitter: @MHbherman