Sam Pratt was the first to report
Tues., July 8, on announced plans by Columbia Memorial Hospital and Albany Medical Center to affiliate for the purpose of providing "better coordination of care for residents of Columbia and Greene counties and greater operational efficiency for both organizations." Hospital officials stress the two institutions will remain distinct, Pratt reported. Writing in the Times Union, Claire Hughes
put the plan into context alongside other recent healthcare couplings in the region. These affiliations are occurring as medical providers search for business strategies that will succeed in light of federal reforms and changing payment methods, according to Hughes. Under the plan Columbia Memorial will remain an independent system with its own corporate structure and governance. It will also keep its emergency department as well as walk-in primary care and specialty services. No changes in staffing are anticipated. Columbia Memorial will look to Albany Med to provide advanced treatments in areas like cardiology and neurology, and the organizations will facilitate the transfer of patients from one system to the other. The state Health Department must ultimately review the Albany Med and Columbia Memorial alliance.