I’ve worked at Boston Children’s Hospital for more than a decade, and I’m still inspired every day by the hope and strength I see on the faces of our patients and their families. As Boston Children’s navigates a challenging and evolving healthcare landscape I draw on that inspiration and determination, especially when some healthcare discussions seem to imply that cost is the only measure of a hospital’s worth.
At Boston Children’s value means more than just dollar and cents. It means being treated by pediatric experts—doctors, nurses and support staff—who understand that children are not just small adults and their care needs to reflect that fact. It’s a commitment to care and innovation that produces programs like the Home Hydration Program, which gets kids with cancer out of the hospital and back at home for part of their treatment, or our Community Asthma Initiative, which helps children with asthma have fewer attacks so they miss less school and their parents can stay at work.
And for thousands of families throughout Massachusetts, there’s value in knowing that you don’t always have to come to Boston to see Boston Children’s doctors and nurses. We have established partnerships with hospitals and care centers throughout Eastern Massachusetts, which brings Children's pediatric expertise closer to home for families outside the Boston area.
As part of our ongoing efforts to provide our families with affordable, high quality care I am pleased to announce that we have signed an innovative new contract with the state’s largest health insurance provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA), which includes several “first in the nation” pediatric-specific quality measures.
We believe this contract will help us improve the quality and effectiveness of the care we provide to our families with BCBSMA while keeping our costs well below medical inflation. It also continues our significant efforts from the last three years, during which we have voluntarily given back approximately $170 million to insurers, both to reduce costs to individual patients and to invest in more than 200 hospital projects designed to improve quality, increase efficiency and reduce unnecessary utilization.
And while the new contract is a wonderful way to usher in 2012, it comes on the heels of a very successful 2011. Last year Boston Children’s Hospital:
- Was honored to top the U.S.News & World Report list of Best Children’s Hospitals, being named #1 in six of the 10 specialty areas they rank each year
- Named to the Leapfrog Group’s list of top hospitals for our commitment to transparency and high quality care.
- Cited as a top place to work by the Boston Globe, the Boston Business Journal and The Scientist magazine.
- Made our expert pediatric care available in more convenient locations by opening new locations in Peabody and the South Shore and staffing emergency rooms in Beverly, Norwood, Weymouth and Winchester. We also established a new collaboration with Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth in New Hampshire.
- In the spring, we launched our new website, www.childrenshospital.org, which has best-in-class information on diseases and their treatments, as well quick and easy ways to schedule appointments at any of Boston Children’s locations.
As far as I’m concerned, the greatest indication of Boston Children’s value is the trust of the parents who place more than 500,000 children in our care each year. Whether they come to us from around the block, or the other side of the world, Boston Children’s takes great pride in knowing that every patient who comes through our doors will receive the same level of world-class care that has made Boston Children’s a leader in pediatrics for more than 140 years.
Collaboratively Providing Value-based Care