Hospital officials say another challenge is dealing with lower Medicare reimbursements and, subsequently, doing everything possible to remain competitive.
The hospital is offering more services, for instance. It has partnered with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston to provide access to Harvard-affiliated teaching-hospital specialists.
Areas of interaction between the two organizations include maternal care, gynecology and oncology, emergency department transfers and gastroenterology.
In 2013, Anna Jaques leaders plan to offer a “second opinion service” with BIDMC for oncology patients. Also, it will open a Breast Care Center.
“The hospital is expanding in many areas, including women’s health,” said O’Connor. “We have a midwifery program, and we’re adding programs to support women in oncology and gynecology.
“We want people in our area to see our facility as one that can provide great care to them. There might be times when they might be referred to BIDMC and its specialists, but we are working to demonstrate that Anna Jaques offers high value at reasonable cost.”
David LeFlamme, vice chair of the board of trustees at the hospital, said, “Patients are smart and they will compare services. And they are going to see what their policies are covering.
“We know there can be a difference, for instance, in the cost of colonoscopies even in a given family; one institution might offer a less expensive program. We believe we are a hospital where people can turn for excellent care.”
Anna Jaques has been named a Tier 1 hospital, which in industry lingo means that major insurance carriers certify that it has the capability to “consistently deliver high-quality care at a lower cost.”
In 2012, it was named one of the market’s “Top 10 Best Places to Work” by The Boston Business Journal.
Hospital leaders say one of their major goals is to continue to create a community hospital and physician network “to keep our community patients receiving care in our community.”