By DR. RICHARD AFABLE / The Current
August 23, 2012
Health care reform will change how we experience being sick in the United States. Hoag Hospital and St. Joseph Health are about to reinvent how Orange County strives to stay healthy.
The two largest, most prestigious health care systems in the county, Hoag and St. Joseph, are creating an unprecedented alliance that will reduce costs, expand access to care, and re-focus hospitals away from a sickness model to one that strives to keep people healthy.Under this innovative partnership, Hoag will still offer the high quality service that our community has come to expect, but we will expand our reach to help more residents and make health care in Orange County more accessible and efficient.
Already leaders in health care technology, Hoag and St. Joseph will create a new, integrated information technology system to coordinate and streamline care. Residents will be able to visit more doctors in more locations and access specialized treatments that they currently have to travel out of the area to receive.
Orange County has long been a hub of health care entrepreneurship. We are the home of Edwards Lifesciences, Allergan, and others – leaders that saw needs in health care and created innovative solutions. It is in that spirit of Orange County entrepreneurship that Hoag and St. Joseph view this alliance.
Our alliance is not a merger, and our hospitals will still be there for you. If you are injured, ill, or in labor, Hoag Hospital will provide you the resources and excellent care you have come to expect.
By working together to serve all of Orange County and the High Desert, our new partnership will also address health care needs further upstream than current models of health care delivery has traditionally allowed.
For example, while we will still provide excellent treatment for the complications of diabetes – blindness, heart disease and vascular disease – we will also focus on identifying people at risk of diabetes and intervening early enough that they never experience those complications in the first place.
Health care reform is projected to cover an additional 30 million people by 2018. Hospitals everywhere will be challenged to act more efficiently, providing only those services that afford definite value to your health. Together, Hoag and St. Joseph can do just that.
Our hospitals will soon file an application with the state of California as the first step in our visionary goal to create an integrated community health network.
Hoag and St. Joseph will retain our individual identities and faith affiliations – Presbyterian and Catholic, respectively. But we will work collaboratively to form a new system that expands access and improves efficiency for all of Orange County.
Together, Hoag Hospital and St. Joseph Health have been serving this community for more than 100 years. We share a vision of fairness and a history of entrepreneurship. We are natural partners, then, to take our community's health care in a bold new direction, and I am proud and excited to announce the brave first steps Hoag and St. Joseph are taking to meet the tremendous challenges of health care, together.
Richard Afable, M.D. is President and Chief Executive Officer of Hoag Hospital Memorial Presbyterian.
Hoag has urgent care health facilities or hospitals in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Tustin, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Aliso Viejo, Orange and Anaheim Hills.
To read the original article at The Orange County Register, click here.