PORTLAND, Maine-Martin's Point Health Care Centers, a group of not-for-profit ambulatory healthcare centers, has signed a cost-sharing contract with Maine Medical Center. Under the arrangement, MMC Physician Hospital Organization will assume the clinical risk for all specialty and hospital care, while Martin's Point will be responsible for primary-care services, mental health services and pharmacy costs. The MMC Management Services Organization will manage and support Martin's Point medical practices. "In today's fast-paced healthcare environment, physician groups such as Martin's Point must find new ways to remain competitive while still delivering high-quality, personalized care," said David Howes, M.D., medical director at Martin's Point. The arrangement also will allow Martin's Point to contract with other clinically oriented organizations through MMC-PHO. Martin's Point, which has a staff of 25 physicians and five physician assistants, specializes in primary care, including radiology, mammography, laboratory and pharmacy services. MMC-PHO serves the Portland area and has 410 physicians with 5,300 members under contract, prior to collaborating with Martin's Point.
CARMEL, N.Y.-Putnam Hospital Center is joining HealthStar Network, an alliance formed this summer by Northern West-chester Hospital Center in Mount Kisco, N.Y., and White Plains (N.Y.) Hospital Center. With Putnam, HealthStar will represent 1,150 affiliated physicians, 730 licensed beds, 2,714 full-time employees and $235 million in operating revenues. The network is designed for managed-care contracting and information system development and to achieve operating efficiencies. It's not a vehicle for consolidation, however. According to HealthStar's press release, "There will be no realignment of clinical services between the three hospitals, and each hospital will continue to offer a full range of healthcare services to their respective communities." In three months of operation, HealthStar has saved $380,000 through joint purchasing and other money-saving initiatives, a spokesman said. The two founding hospitals already have 21 cost reduction teams in place to ferret out additional savings, he said. Executives expect to generate $2.8 million in savings in 1997 and $7.1 million in cumulative savings by 1998. The spokesman declined to disclose the amount of the hospitals' initial capitalization of HealthStar, saying that information is proprietary.