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FTC Approves Hartford Healthcare Affiliation with Central Connecticut Health Alliance

[January 24 2011] - Press release dated January 20, 2011

Hartford HealthCare (HHC) and The Hospital of Central Connecticut’s parent company Central Connecticut Health Alliance (CCHA) are pleased to announce that their affiliation has been approved by the Federal Trade Commission.

“This affiliation is a profound win-win situation for everyone,” said Elliot Joseph, president and CEO of Hartford HealthCare. “Patients will benefit from the wider continuum of care and better coordination of care that a health care system offers, communities will benefit from a broader range of services, and staff will benefit from greater professional opportunities. “

“Today is truly an exciting day and the culmination of a successful 20-year relationship between Hartford Hospital and The Hospital of Central Connecticut,” said Clarence J. Silvia, president and CEO of The Hospital of Central Connecticut and CCHA. “We have a long-standing relationship between our hospitals and health care systems. Together, we know we are making a positive difference for the people of our state.”

“Combining the resources of CCHA and HHC is really one plus one equals three; the two organizations together are greater than the sum of our parts,” Joseph added. “Our affiliation will improve the quality of care as we increase the sharing of best practices and new technology; increase local access to care by providing more primary and specialty care in our communities; increase efficiencies and reduce health care costs by the sharing of information technology (IT) platforms and by taking advantage of larger-volume, lower-cost purchases of supplies and services; and play a vital role in the economic development of our local communities. The affiliation also will strengthen the long-term viability of local health care.”

“Shared IT platforms will enable us to more efficiently develop electronic medial records across the system,” Silvia said. “This not only lowers costs but improves the quality of care as all care providers have a single patient view.”

Since the 1990s, Hartford Hospital and The Hospital of Central Connecticut have worked together on a number of clinical and educational initiatives. By combining resources, Hartford HealthCare and the Central Connecticut Health Alliance will be able to serve more communities to provide coordinated, seamless high-quality care to patients and more services and programs for communities throughout Connecticut. The affiliation also helps ensure that the HHC network and each of its members can succeed in today’s rapidly changing health care environment. The health care system will have more opportunities to purchase supplies and services at lower prices to provide top-quality care more efficiently.

“What does this mean for the patient? It means they have easier access to stronger hospitals and a continuum of care – from primary care, to specialty care, to hospital services, to rehabilitation and long-term care, to home care,” Joseph said. “As a health care system, we want to be the patient’s partner for a lifetime of care and the community’s partner in providing services for the health and well-being of community members.”

The affiliation also will mean easier patient access to life-saving and complex care, including Hartford Hospital’s Level 1 Trauma Center, LIFE STAR transport services and transplant services. The move also strengthens the strong cancer programs currently offered at both hospital systems. The Hospital of Central Connecticut, for example, is widely respected for treatment of gynecological cancers and also is widely known for its diabetes care.

Plans for the future include creating a unified electronic medical records system, which will enable doctors’ offices throughout Hartford HealthCare to communicate directly with one another, leading to quicker diagnoses, improved accuracy and an end to duplicate testing — saving patients’ time and money.

“Providing the highest-quality care to all who count on us — in a cost-effective, community-based system — is the goal for modern health care. That is the impetus behind this partnership,” said Joseph.

“Working together enriches and enhances our ability to provide high-quality care in a cost-effective way,” added Silvia. “This important and beneficial alliance will truly serve the people of Connecticut. We look forward to a vibrant and healthy future —for our patients and our communities.”

Hartford HealthCare (HHC) is focused on becoming the next generation of integrated health systems, marked by strong patient focus, heightened efficiency, consistent quality performance and open, collaborative sharing of best practices. It is dedicated to providing patients with an exceptional, coordinated care experience and a single, high standard of service. A hallmark of HHC's vision is to strengthen access to care close to home for patients by enhancing local health care delivery capabilities. In addition, HHC aims to create a culture and organizational structure where clinical care, education and research are supported to bring the latest technology and discoveries, clinical excellence and innovation to the patient and community.

The Central Connecticut Health Alliance, Inc. (CCHA) was formed in 1995 by Bradley Memorial and New Britain General hospitals. The purpose was to develop an integrated health care system that would create a continuum of care and pathways for patients as they address their healthcare needs. Since its formation, the Alliance has expanded to include all aspects of health care. This includes The Hospital of Central Connecticut, a 414-bed, acute-care teaching hospital, as well as Alliance Occupational Health, Central Connecticut Senior Health Services, Central Connecticut Physical Medicine and Central Connecticut VNA.