NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - The Cooley Dickinson Board of Trustees has chosen Massachusetts General Hospital as their new affiliation partner.
The vote wasn't unanimous, but a majority of the 26-member Affiliation Task Force chose to negotiate an affiliation agreement with the Boston-based hospital.
Cooley Dickinson's President/CEO Craig Melin told 22News that the merger is not about money, but about giving the hospital a permanent edge in shaping care programs and patient volume. Melin says that part of being in a larger system means the hospital can move towards population-based care; instead of charging a fee-for-service, providers will pay a set amount per person.
22News asked people in Hampshire County what they think of the changes. "Mass. General is a very good hospital, but it is a behemoth in many ways, and I do like the feeling that this is our hospital," Elizabeth Hawley of Plainfield said.
According to Jim Hughes of Northampton, "I'd be concerned about the population based care when you start to segregate people by factors they have no control over age, ethnic, genetic disorders diseases etc."
There are mixed emotions in Hampshire County, as residents feel secure over the fact that Mass. General is a top-ranked hospital in the nation, but are not happy about the possible change in care.