North Shore-LIJ to Add Peconic Bay Medical Center

Riverhead News-Review
April 2, 2015
PBMC Faithful That North Shore-LIJ Is Healthy Fit

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Crain's New York Business
March 27, 2015
North Shore-LIJ System to Add Another Community Hospital
By Jonathan LaMantia

Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, L.I., agreed Thursday to become a full member of North Shore-LIJ Health System, pending regulatory review.

The board of the 200-bed community hospital decided to become part of the health system "to establish important new regional medical services and provide long-term stability for our patients during a time of great volatility in the health care market," Sherry Patterson, chair of Peconic Bay's board, said in a statement.

North Shore-LIJ has pursued an aggressive expansion strategy, bringing hospitals from Suffolk County to Westchester County under its brand, increasing its influence and bargaining power with insurers.

The Lake Success, L.I.-based health system is the state's largest private employer, with a workforce of about 54,000. North Shore-LIJ created its own insurance company, CareConnect, which has enrolled about 25,000 people in its first 14 months of operations, Alan Murray, president and chief executive of CareConnect, said earlier this month.

"By working in an integrated and collaborative way, and investing in new initiatives and key clinical programs aimed at attracting new customers, we're confident we can position the hospital for future success," Michael Dowling, North Shore-LIJ's president and chief executive, said in a statement.

Affiliations between community hospitals and regional health systems have become increasingly common following federal and state initiatives that have made payments to hospitals value-based, rewarding successful outcomes in patients rather than the volume of patients treated, said Kevin Dahill, president and chief executive of the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council, a regional advocacy group.

"It's all about scale at the end of the day," he said. "The smaller hospitals, the traditional community hospitals are feeling that the bigger systems provide the scale that you're going to need in the new financial environment."

Peconic Bay is part of the East End Health Alliance, a three-hospital coalition formed in 2008 with Southampton Hospital and Eastern Long Island Hospital, in Greenport, L.I.

An affiliation between Southampton and Stony Brook University Medical Center was approved by the SUNY board of trustees in January, weakening the East End Alliance. This new agreement between Peconic Bay and North Shore-LIJ pushes the alliance further into jeopardy.

Eastern Long Island Hospital President and Chief Executive Paul Connor told the Riverhead News-Review in January that "the alliance would disestablish" if the three hospitals joined different health systems.

A spokeswoman for Eastern Long Island Hospital did not immediately return a request for comment.


Riverhead Local
March 31, 2015
PBMC Plan to Merge with North Shore Is 'Mission-Driven,' hospital officials Say, But Decision Angers State Senator

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March 28, 2015
In East End Health Care Shuffle, Peconic Bay Medical Center to Join North Shore-LIJ System

Peconic Bay Medical Center's board of directors has unanimously voted to join the North Shore-LIJ Health System.

The decision by the 25-member board of the Riverhead hospital Thursday night means the end of a 10-year relationship with Stony Brook University Hospital. It also expands North Shore-LIJ's reach to the East End, making Peconic the 20th hospital in the health system, one of the biggest in the country.

And it means the end of the East End Health Alliance formed in 2008, which included the three East End hospitals, Peconic, Southampton Hospital and Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport.

That process started in October 2012 when Southampton announced it planned to merge with Stony Brook.

Paul Connor, chief executive of Eastern Long Island, said his hospital's board is also in talks with Stony Brook and North Shore-LIJ and expected to vote on a merger at its May 28 meeting.

Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), a staunch Stony Brook supporter, vowed to fight Peconic's decision.

"It was a bad decision in terms of the health care for the people I represent," he said. "I'm not going to cede the health care for people in Suffolk County to Nassau County."

LaValle said he was going to explore antitrust concerns and the fact that North Shore-LIJ has its own insurance company. The health system must notify the U.S. Department of Justice about the prospective affiliation; the department has 30 days to respond if there are any antitrust concerns.

Spokesman Terry Lynam said North Shore-LIJ owns and operates three Suffolk hospitals. "We've had a strong presence in Suffolk County for more 20 years," he said.

Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter said he was "100 percent in favor" of the agreement because he believed North Shore-LIJ will expand health services in the region.

"I don't want to take anything away from Stony Brook," he said, but Peconic acted as a "feeder hospital" to Stony Brook. "With North Shore-LIJ, they want to set up roots on the East End and they will set us up as a regional health facility."

In a statement, Stony Brook said: "For nearly a decade, Stony Brook University Hospital and the physicians of Stony Brook Medicine have formed close relationships with physicians, allied health care providers, emergency medical service professionals, hospitals and members of the community on the East End of Long Island. Stony Brook will continue to work with and support local health care providers to expand the scope of services on the East End and to enhance their access to premier care in the region."

Andrew Mitchell, Peconic's chief executive, said the vote culminated discussions about the future of the 200-bed hospital that started soon after Southampton announced its merger with Stony Brook.

Mitchell said the board was especially interested in establishing advanced cardiac services -- such as catheterization labs -- ambulatory services, cancer treatment centers and a trauma center for the East End.

"The agreement is very specific and clear in its intent to elevate programs and services that are truly needed on the East End," Mitchell said.

No money exchanges hands in the agreement. But Mitchell said North Shore-LIJ "made a commitment of sufficient capital and advanced programs to invest in the hospital." He would not provide a figure.

The agreement with Stony Brook, which began in 2006 and ends next year, included using Stony Brook emergency doctors and radiologists, Mitchell said.

Peconic was an affiliate member of North Shore-LIJ between 2000 and 2006, and North Shore-LIJ chief executive Michael Dowling said he was "thrilled to be renewing" the relationship.

Riverhead News-Review
March 27, 2015
Peconic Bay Medical Center Votes to Joint North Shore-LIJ

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Riverhead Local
March 27, 2015
Peconic Bay Medical Center Will Become Part of North Shore-LIJ Health System

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Capital New York
March 27, 2015
Peconic Bay Joining North Shore-LIJ
By Dan Goldberg

Peconic Bay Medical Center is joining North Shore-L.I.J., extending the health system's presence deeper into Suffolk County and further consolidating care on Long Island.

The board of the Riverhead hospital voted Thursday night to become a full member of L.I.J., following completion of contractual approvals and regulatory reviews.

The agreement provides “long-term stability for our patients during a time of great volatility in the healthcare market,” Sherry Patterson, chair of the PBMC board, said in a statement.

PBMC, a 200-bed community teaching hospital, will be the 20th under L.I.J.'s umbrella, which now spans from Eastern Long Island into Westchester.

L.I.J. also has Huntington Hospital, Southside Hospital in Bay Shore and South Oaks Hospital in Amityville.

Peconic Bay had been part of the East End Health Alliance along with Southampton Hospital and Eastern Long Island Hospital.

In January, the SUNY Board of Trustees voted to approve an affiliation between Stony Brook University Hospital and Southampton.

Eastern Long Island Hospital has also been in talks with Stony Brook and North Shore-L.I.J. for the last two years.

Crain’s Health Pulse
March 30, 2015
Dominoes Fall at Suffolk County Hospitals

Eastern Long Island Hospital is in negotiations to join either Stony Brook University Medical Center or North Shore-LIJ Health System, according to the top executive at the Greenport, L.I., facility. Nestled on the Island's North Fork, the 110-year-old hospital will announce its decision at a board meeting on May 28, said Paul Connor, Eastern Long Island's president and chief executive.

The board will decide based on "the evolving health needs of our community—programs, capital and vision," he said.

Eastern Long Island will be the last member of the East End Health Alliance to join a larger health system. The three-member alliance formed in 2008 at the urging of the Berger commission; its other members are Peconic Bay Medical Center and Southampton Hospital.

"The new type of reimbursement that hospitals are moving into—major risk types of reimbursement—are something small hospitals don't have the economic base to be able to do," Mr. Connor said. "For us to still be in the game and serve our communities, we really have to join organizations that have this critical mass, like an academic medical center or an integrated health system."

Last week, Peconic Bay Medical Center, a 200-bed hospital in Riverhead, announced it would join North Shore-LIJ as that health system's 20th facility in the region, pending regulatory approval.

In January, the SUNY Board of Trustees approved a strengthened affiliation agreement, first conceived in August 2012, between Stony Brook University Hospital and 125-bed Southampton Hospital. Stony Brook School of Medicine has joint clinical and academic programs in Southampton.

The East End alliance had been sort of a mini-health system. It's likely that it will be disbanded now that its members have joined competing health systems.

"That wouldn't do the trick to move us into a position to participate in these new reimbursement mechanisms," Mr. Connor said. "While this isn't new, the fact is that we see changes coming quicker. It really is imperative now for us to make this final decision."

"My view as a CEO is that I need to steer the ship into the safe harbor along with our board," he added.

Peconic Bay's announcement last week was "not surprising," said Kevin Dahill, president and chief executive of the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council. There won't be a "wholesale disappearance" of community hospitals, but integration into larger systems could lead to changes in some of their services, he said.

"All the hospitals are in some relationship of some sort on Long Island," Mr. Dahill said. "The question becomes how sustaining some of those relationships are. That's what we're finding with the East End Alliance and we'll find with some of the others. Everyone is sitting up and taking notice of all this."

Long Island Business News
March 27, 2015
Peconic Bay Medical Center to Join North Shore-LIJ
By: Bernadette Starzee 

Peconic Bay Medical Center’s board of directors approved a definitive agreement to join the North Shore-LIJ Health System, pending completion of contractual approvals and government regulatory review.

If approved, the 200-bed Riverhead hospital would become a full member of the Great Neck-based North Shore-LIJ Health System, which has 19 hospitals in Long Island and New York City. PBMC would give North Shore-LIJ, which has three hospitals in western Suffolk County, a presence in Eastern Long Island.

“The board of directors felt it was best for the current and future health and wellness needs of the 220,000 people living in the communities we serve to become a full member of North Shore-LIJ,” said Demetrios Kadenas, vice president of development and external affairs for PBMC. The hospital serves central and eastern Suffolk, from Mastic Beach to Hampton Bays on the South Fork and Wading River to Mattituck on the North Fork, according to Kadenas.

PBMC, which has about 1,300 employees and cares for more than 7,000 inpatients and 168,000 outpatients annually, was an affiliate member of the health system from 2000 to 2006.

“This expands our service area much farther out into eastern Long Island,” said Terry Lynam, a spokesperson for North Shore-LIJ. “We had a prior existing relationship with Peconic Bay – an affiliation in which we shared best practices – and we’re excited about the opportunity to take it a step further.”
PBMC had been involved in talks with North Shore-LIJ, as well as Stony Brook University, since last June, until the board voted last night to partner with North Shore-LIJ, according to Lynam.

PBMC also operates a certified home health agency, a 60-bed skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, a six-bed palliative care center, an advanced ambulatory and urgent care campus in Manorville and a network of community-based family care and specialty physician practices.
It will likely take about 12 months for approvals and other logistical issues to be worked out, Kadenas said.

Digital Journal
March 27, 2015
Peconic Bay Medical Center Board Votes to Join North Shore-LIJ

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