Swedish Medical Centers will have no changes in end-of-life policies and will transition elective abortions to a new Planned Parenthood clinic on First Hill as the plan to share resources in a multi-billion dollar combination of two massive health care providers won’t be challenged by the FTC, according to Swedish and Providence Health and Services representatives.
In a statement released Wednesday, Swedish and Providence outlined the efficiencies expected from the combination of shared facilities and resources. In October, the Seattle Times reported that Swedish was working toward no longer offering elective abortions as the affiliation was being shaped and would instead back a new Planned Parenthood clinic on First Hill.
Despite the changes on the abortion front, Swedish officials have said there will be no changes in end-of-life policy at its facilities. Frequent CHS contributor Andrew Taylor spoke to Q13 in October about concerns regarding the end-of-life policy in light of the affiliation.
This fall, both organizations announced small layoffs, citing financial reasons.
Here is the statement on the finalized Swedish-Provident agreement:
Officials from locally based Providence Health & Services and Swedish Health Services announced today that the affiliation between both health systems is official. This unique affiliation will allow both organizations to work together to improve health care quality, access and affordability for residents of Western Washington.
Swedish joins with Providence’s Northwest and Southwest Washington operations to create a new organization serving the greater Puget Sound area. This new region includes all of Swedish’s operations in King and South Snohomish counties and Providence’s operations in King, Snohomish, Thurston and Lewis counties.
Through this affiliation both organizations will collaborate to better deliver health care to the region, while at the same time maintaining their individual identities and heritage. Providence will retain its Catholic identity and name, and Swedish will retain its name and will remain non-religious. While the organizations’ names and brands won’t be changing and patients won’t see any difference in how they access care, by working together, Providence and Swedish can reduce costs and increase quality and access for patients in Western Washington.
“This is an exciting day for both organizations,” said John Koster, MD, Providence Health & Services president and CEO. “Together, we will reach new levels of excellence and will be able to improve quality and access for Western Washington in a way we couldn’t as separate organizations.”