MD Anderson, Advocate may partner in Chicago

By Bruce Japsen
Posted Aug. 4, 2010 at 3:02 p.m.

MD Anderson Cancer Center, one of the nation’s best known providers of oncology care, is in talks with Chicago’s largest provider of medical care, Advocate Health Care, about a possible partnership, the two health care systems confirmed today.

Any deal with the internationally known MD Anderson would be designed to enhance the cancer care provided at Advocate, which owns and operates 10 hospitals in Illinois, including eight in the Chicago area, according to sources close to the talks. It could also be a marketing opportunity given the MD Anderson name is well-known and regularly ranks atop lists of U.S. cancer providers such as the annual rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

If the deal comes together, it would be the latest foray of a high-profile medical care provider into Chicago. Last month, the Tribune reported the Cleveland Clinic was partnering with Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield to give patients access to the noted heart care providers research, clinical trials, patient protocols, and potentially referrals if the cases are too complex for the 313-bed hospital in Chicago’s western suburbs.

Such partnerships come at a time the health care reform law is pressuring medical care providers and academic centers in particular like MD Anderson and the Cleveland and Mayo Clinics to broaden their reach as centers of excellence. In the past year of the health care reform debate, President Barack Obama has supported such a model as a way to make sure quality medical care is done right the first time without mistakes or errors that contribute to the high cost of care.

Advocate confirmed it has been in talks with MD Anderson but wouldn’t comment on the status of the talks or what a potential affiliation or partnership might look like.

“Advocate Health Care diagnoses and treats more cancer patients than any hospital or system in the state,” said Scott Powder, senior vice president, strategic planning & growth. ” We are continuously exploring possible partnerships that would enhance our comprehensive cancer services.”

MD Anderson has been increasingly looking outside of Texas and its Texas Medical Center campus in Houston for partnerships. It has satellite centers in Albuquerque, N.M. and Istanbul, Turkey that provide radiation oncology services and next year is slated to open a hospital in Phoenix with a large hospital operator in that market. MD Anderson also operates a vast physician network that has a variety of relationships outside of Texas that include consulting services, referral relationships and contracting relationships that place MD Anderson physicians at other hospitals and clinics.

MD Anderson described the talks with Advocate as preliminary.

“We have the largest oncology program in the world and as such we work with many hospitals and health care systems and are contacted by many hospitals and health care systems for advice and sometimes formal assistance with their oncology services,” said Wendy Gottsegen, an MD Anderson spokeswoman.

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  1. Frank Bull Aug. 4, 2010 at 11:52 a.m.

    Just like Central Dupage Hospital connecting with Clevland Clinic.
    Say “Goodbye” to the fine oncologists now providing excellent care to the
    Advocate patients.

  2. Maddie Aug. 4, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Since living in Houston for so many years I know that M.D. Anderson is one of the premier hospitals in the country. I know that they have lent their name to others (specifically, Orlando) but that does not translate into the others having the degree of excellence of the one and only MDA, Houston. I am not opposed to this idea, however, IMO my humble opinion it does mislead the patients as to what care they can expect.

  3. Aug. 5, 2010 at 6:11 a.m.

    MD ANderson helped my mother with her cancer. They are good at what they do and Chicago should welcome any partnership with them as a chance to expand on the health care Advocate has.

    of course, nobody is really going to get cancer treatment once the great Obamacare disaster…er, i mean… “PLAN” is reduced to rationing care like this. once that happens, only those with the ‘power of pull’ will get treatment.

  4. keith Aug. 5, 2010 at 9:19 a.m.

    usually for something like this the local docs have to meet the medical standards and protocols of the partner – a good thing all around