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Local Expert Discusses Rash Of Hospital Mergers In Philadelphia Area

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(File photo)

(File photo)

John Ostapkovich John Ostapkovich
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By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia area health care landscape has changed twice in a little over two weeks.  KYW Newsradio talked with an expert about what’s behind this.

While not addressing the particulars of the formation of a joint health system by Abington Memorial and Holy Redeemer Hospitals, or Fox Chase Cancer Center joining the Temple Health System, Rutgers-Camden Law Professor Rand Rosenblatt is not surprised.

“It’s basically being caused by the need to change the way we do health care,” says Rosenblatt. “The tremendous problems, quality of care and cost problems in health care delivery and it is becoming increasingly clear that improving quality and becoming more efficient requires larger organizational resources.”

Rosenblatt says this is occurring independently of federal health care reform although the controversial law has pushed it along.

He says mergers are challenging in terms of combining data systems and organizational cultures.

“It really requires data systems.  It requires institutional culture and organization that’s really oriented to improving the quality of care and the efficiency of care.”

In his view, improvements in patient care have been spotty despite some steps in the right direction.

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