NEW YORK— Doctors at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York are expecting research conducted at the soon-to-open NYU Wireless center to contribute to gamechanging advances in medicine. The 23,000-square-foot facility, set to open this winter, will be staffed by NYU Langone physicians as well as engineers, computer scientists, faculty and students from the university, the NYU School of Medicine and NYU Polytechnic Institute. Their research will focus on developing the next generation of cellular technology. “We have great minds sitting around the table trying to decide what to tackle first,” said Dr. Marc Bloom, director of perioperative technology at NYU Langone. Among the medical research projects: devising faster, less-invasive imaging to study organs such as the brain or heart. Advances could include new MRI scans that take only a few seconds and capture a beating heart in real time. That technology would let doctors performing a procedure such as cardiac ablation see if they correctly zapped heart muscle cells to stop an irregular heartbeat. Brain surgeons could see if they had removed enough of a tumor. “We’ll get better, cleaner pictures inside the body in less time,” Bloom said. Another project involves being able to insert tiny monitoring devices in patients that will be able to tell doctors how well a joint replacement is holding up, whether an epilepsy patient is about to have a seizure, or whether a cardiac patient is in danger of having a heart attack. “With this technology, we will be able to check a body system, measure whether our intervention is functioning and see if there is any improvement in the patient’s health,” Bloom said. The institute’s work will be funded by a $2 million National Science Foundation grant. NYU is investing $3 million in startup money and $4 million to build out the space.
—Crain’s New York Business
NEWARK, N.J.— Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey said more than 40,000 individuals will be included under a newly launched accountable care organization with Optimus Healthcare Partners. The ACO, which will include 11 New Jersey counties, will offer incentive payments to the 104 primary-care doctors included in the deal and will include commercially insured and Medicare Advantage patients, according to a Horizon news release. The 42 primary-care practices in the deal may use incentive payments to support clinical activities, according to the release. Doctors who reach certain performance targets pertaining to costs, quality and patient satisfaction will receive a share of savings. Optimus was founded by the Vista Health System IPA and the Central Jersey Physician Network and has also partnered with Atlantic Health System, Morris Somerset IPA and Morris Area Integrated Physicians IPA.
GARDNER, MASS.— Heywood Hospital, a 109-bed hospital in Gardner, and 12-bed Athol (Mass.) Memorial Hospital signed a letter of intent to form a strategic alliance that will align the community hospitals. Heywood and Athol plan to create a parent organization that will be governed by a single board. Winfield Brown, Heywood’s president and CEO, will lead both hospitals. A Heywood spokeswoman said in an e-mail that there are no financial terms to the alliance. “Affiliation between Athol Memorial and Heywood will provide long-term financial stability for these organizations while retaining local control,” Jim Meehan, Athol’s interim president and CEO, said in a news release. “Working together, we will be able to make investments in healthcare technologies, our healthcare staff and new and expanded services to meet the changing healthcare needs of the people of north central Massachusetts.” The affiliation will require approval from the Massachusetts Public Health Department and the attorney general’s office.
Prestige Care has purchased nine Eagle Healthcare skilled-nursing and rehabilitation centers in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Prestige will assume ownership and management duties Oct. 1. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Prestige, a senior-care provider, also operates centers in Alaska, Arizona, California, Montana and Nevada; the transaction gives the company 65 facilities. “This is an exciting time of growth for Prestige,” company President and CEO Harold Delamarter said in a news release. Before the deal, Eagle, based in Kirkland, Wash., owned 12 facilities—10 in Washington and one each in Idaho and Oregon—according to its website. ORANGE, CALIF.—
St. Joseph Health, Orange, and Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, Newport Beach, Calif., signed a letter of intent to affiliate and form a new integrated regional health system made up of their respective Southern California hospitals, the two organizations announced. A to-benamed company with its own board would be formed under the terms of the deal and would focus on coordinating healthcare in the region, said Deborah Proctor, president and CEO of St. Joseph Health, at a news conference. “This is not a merger, there is no transfer of assets,” Proctor said. Under the proposed deal, St. Joseph, which has five hospitals in the region, and two-campus Hoag would retain their individual identities and faith affiliations, Catholic and Presbyterian, respectively, according to a news release. The two organizations also plan to consider partnerships with other healthcare participants, including traditional and nontraditional healthcare providers. “We believe there are better ways to provide healthcare services in a coordinated and integrated way,” and this new company aims to do that, said Dr. Richard Afable, Hoag’s president and CEO. The next step in the process is to apply for approval from the California attorney general’s office; this is expected to take place in October, and more than 100 days could be required for a decision, according to the release. Earlier this month, it was announced that Mission Internal Medical Group, a 71-physician internal medicine practice based in Mission Viejo, Calif., will join St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare, a physician practice organization of large multispecialty groups and independent practices.
Proctor: “This is not a merger, there is no transfer of assets.”