The University of Pennsylvania Health System and five Philadelphia-area hospitals owned by Catholic Health Initiatives of Denver late last week agreed to a 10-year affiliation that nearly doubles the size of UPHS' hospital network.
No money is changing hands under the deal, and there are no prior financial commitments for the affiliation, said John Kepner, UPHS senior vice president for network development.
The fruits from the affiliation are expected to include cooperative managed-care contracting, a broader geographic reach for Philadelphia-based UPHS' tertiary and advanced clinical services, and enhanced primary-care delivery throughout an eight-county area. UPHS also will share its expertise in health and disease management with CHI's 68 hospitals nationwide.
Its UPHS link will mean access to the "best medical center in the region" and the latest clinical trials and treatment options, according to CHI.
"This is a tremendous opportunity to enhance care and services . . . " said William Foley, group president of CHI. Foley left his post as senior vice president for hospital operations at UPHS in July 1997 to join CHI.
The UPHS-CHI affiliation will go beyond traditional "hub and spoke" referrals-with an academic hospital at the center and community hospitals along the periphery-UPHS' Kepner said. The systems expect to develop regional healthcare plans that link various community hospitals and physician groups in the network.
With combined 1997 revenues of $389.8 million, the five CHI hospitals are: 172-bed St. Agnes Medical Center and 259-bed Nazareth Hospital, both of Philadelphia; 270-bed St. Mary Medical Center, Langhorne; 256-bed St. Joseph Hospital, Lancaster; and 243-bed St. Joseph Medical Center, Reading.