HMH, Summit Health sign LOI to expand collaboration, increase access

In a partnership that will connect the state’s largest physician group to one of the state’s top hospitals, Summit Health and Hackensack Meridian Health signed a Letter of Intent that will allow Summit physicians to become staff and treat patients at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Last year, HUMC tied for the top spot among hospitals in the state, according to the prestigious U.S. News & World Report rankings. HUMC routinely places either first or second in the rankings.

HUMC, the flagship hospital of HMH, serves mainly patients from Bergen, Hudson, Essex and Passaic counties.

The collaboration between Hackensack Meridian Health and Summit Health will deliver significant benefits to communities across northern New Jersey, strengthening health care access throughout the region. The collaboration will ensure these two leading organizations meet quality and access metrics while focusing on continually enhancing the patient experience.

Key parts of the collaboration include:

  • Summit Health physician specialists in thoracic, neurosurgery, cardiac and urology will become members of the medical staff at Hackensack University Medical Center, and will be able to perform complex surgeries and procedures at the medical center;
  • Hackensack Meridian Health residents and physicians’ assistants will rotate through Summit Health offices as part of their clinical education;
  • Both organizations will look at opportunities to assist patients to receive coordinated home care, behavioral health (including crisis intervention and addiction services) and bone marrow transplants.

The organizations have formed a joint steering committee that will meet bimonthly to continue to build upon the collaboration and evaluate its progress toward meeting goals related to the timeliness and effectiveness of patient care coordination.

HMH CEO Bob Garrett was thrilled to make the announcement.

“Hackensack Meridian Health and Summit Health will enhance the quality, timeliness and continuity of care for our patients, ensuring they receive the best care when and where they need it most,” he said.

Summit Health CO Jeff Alter said the group was happy to expand its access.

“As we expand our connected care model throughout the metropolitan area, collaborating with high-quality health systems allows us to continue to extend our comprehensive care to inpatient settings,” he said.