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Cardiovascular Excellence

Jim Molpus, for HealthLeaders Media, September 13, 2013
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This article appears in the September issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

The veneer covering some hospital and health system "centers of excellence" is perilously thin, often little more than a marketing slogan that gives the appearance of a unified, comprehensive service line. The leadership team at Beaumont Health System, with a push from President and CEO Gene Michalski, decided its centers of excellence would live up to the name.

Royal Oak, Mich.–based Beaumont created six centers of excellence as part of a clinical reorganization begun in 2010: digestive health, neurosciences, oncology, orthopedics, women and children, and cardiovascular services.

The goal is to put together the various pieces under any service line in a more patient-centered way so patients will have a seamless experience as they go through a long, complex episode of care. From a business standpoint, the COE model streamlines the organizational matrix and lays the groundwork for structures that can manage risk-bearing contracts.

For Beaumont's cardiovascular enterprise, the model would mean bringing together the programs at three different hospitals: 1,070-bed Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak; 418-bed Beaumont Hospital, Troy; and 250-bed Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe. Beaumont has an enviable brand in cardiovascular services in general, built on a foundation of innovation, quality, and volume.

All three hospitals have cardiology and vascular surgery programs, and two have cardiac surgery. The cardiovascular surgeons are employed by the hospital, but the cardiologists and vascular surgeons still are a combination of employed, private practice, and professional services agreements.

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