Westchester Medical Center Health Network, Valhalla, N.Y., and Royal Philips have entered into a 15-year, $500 million contract.
Under terms of the agreement, Philips will bring to Westchester “a comprehensive range of clinical and business consulting services, imaging systems, patient monitoring, telehealth and clinical informatics solutions,” according to a statement.
Philips, which also manufactures mobile monitoring devices for the consumer market, has been promoting long-term “partnership” arrangements with U.S. healthcare delivery systems for several years, including a similar 15-year deal in 2013 with Georgia Regents Medical Center in Augusta. It also launched a home health monitoring pilot that year with Phoenix-based Banner Health.
“We want to bring care as close to home as we possibly can,” Westchester CEO Mike Israel said.
Westchester has had business relationships with Philips for medical equipment, such as CT scanners, since 1997.
“What we gain from Philips is not only being first in line for medical equipment (including upgrades), we get service, operations management, consulting and support," Israel added.
The partnership between Westchester and Philips reflects a broader industry trend in which multiple providers and vendors are pushing healthcare outside the walls of the hospital and doctor’s office and into patients’ homes and pockets or purses using mobile monitoring devices.
Westchester has been on a two-year growth spurt, which also is a factor in the agreement. In May 2013 it grew to seven hospitals in five campuses over eight counties in New York.
Revenue jumped from $900 million to $1.7 billion, Israel said. But with that growth came increased expenses, including for technology and consulting services.
Under its agreement, Philips will help spread out those costs and will embed employees within the system to work with hospital employees on innovation.
Philips doesn't have a comprehensive inpatient electronic health-record system, but it will consult with Westchester on selecting a replacement for its sunsetting Siemens Invision system and integration with Meditech and Epic systems at the acquired hospitals. Westchester plans on picking one EHR for all of its hospitals.
The deal to partner up "makes eminent sense to me,” said Dr. William Bria, chairman of the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems.
“This is the real, next revolution of technology in healthcare,” Bria said. “It's one which will better deliver on the promise of the first one, which is better care at greater convenience and lower costs. Patients will really get why this is a good idea. They don't get putting computers all over the hospital and having their clinicians not making eye contact with them looking into a computer."