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Is it competition?

September 16, 2011

What is one to make of this? The chief of medicine at one hospital leaves to work for a competing medical system, bringing along with her 14 doctors, a few nurse practitioners, and a therapists. Within about 7 months, she’s opened a new center, offering services that are very similar to the specialties at her old place of work.

On the record, I’m told that Lifespan‘s new Women’s Medicine Collaborative is in no way a move to infringe on Women and Infants‘ turf.  Even Dr. Raymond Powrie, the interim chief of medicine at Women and Infants Hospital, downplays the new center-

I think that no matter how hard we work and no matter how hard Lifespan works, there’s still going to be women who can’t get the care they need quickly so I want to have this seen as a happy thing. But also I want to think that we know women. Women and Infants has a long legacy of doing this right and we’re going to keep doing it right and better every year.

But it’s hard to ignore the implications of the situation- a competing hospital offering care specifically for women in the same city where Women and Infants does the same thing. The new Women’s Medicine Collaborative has been described as a new initiative, offering “integrated care” and “one stop shopping” for women to get their health care all in one place, but I’m told the Women and Infant’s has been working on the same sorts of goals for years.

So what’s really going on here? Is this a fall out of the failed merger between Lifespan and Care New England (the parent company of Women and Infants)? If you can’t merge with them, start replacing them?  What do you think?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sue permalink
    September 16, 2011 7:33 pm

    Kind of reminds me of that video you posted the link to the other day.

  2. william permalink
    September 16, 2011 8:36 pm

    I think that in all industries there should be options, including health care. Now, the women in Rhode Island, have that option with thier health care. Realistically, what’s wrong with this? Lesser wait times? A competetive market? This gives women one up on us men in RI…

  3. ninjanurse permalink
    September 16, 2011 9:30 pm

    I’m simpleminded. I just want every woman to have access to good care, especially pregnant women. Is this a case of hospitals and doctors chasing the money while there are still Rhode Island women priced out of any health care at all? It would be great if this improved access, but that seems doubtful– more likely it will improve consumer choice for the insured. Not that it’s a bad thing, just that it doesn’t address the greatest need.

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