Baystate Health has announced that it will close Baystate Mary Lane Outpatient Center in Ware, Massachusetts within the next two years, and relocate the majority of services to Baystate Wing Hospital located nine miles away in Palmer. Key factors in the decision are reflective of the current state of care delivery at Baystate Mary Lane Outpatient Center. These factors include:
- Nearly half of Baystate Mary Lane Outpatient Center’s capacity is unused during the daytime and 90% is unused during overnight hours.
- Baystate Mary Lane’s Satellite Emergency Facility has had minimal utilization for emergency level care. Of the 28 individuals per day seeking care in this location, over 85% (24 out of 28) present with common, minor, non-urgent conditions such as cold, flu, and sprains, which could be treated in a primary care setting.
- It has been challenging to recruit and retain health care professionals in the area, especially in small practices. Over the past two years, Baystate Health Eastern Region primary care lost seven physicians and gained just one. This market reality highlights the need to consolidate practices in support of clinician candidates who seek robust multi-specialty practices with opportunity to network and share with colleagues the on-call needs to support consumer care.
- Due to the age of the current Baystate Mary Lane building, to maintain steady-state operations would require over $5 million in construction investments to maintain the facility, compliance and operations over the next three years. Consolidating operations at Baystate Wing will allow Baystate Health to better invest resources in state-of-the-art care, emergency care, physician recruitment, and improved access to primary care. It also allows for more effective staffing in an area where recruiting clinical professionals can be challenging.
Baystate Health will follow the Massachusetts Department of Public Health regulatory process for making changes to services. Baystate’s goal over the next several months is to work collaboratively with the Baystate Mary Lane team and engage with the community as it develops an orderly transition plan for programs and services to Baystate Wing. Transition plans include:
- In June, the Baystate Mary Lane Satellite Emergency Facility will close and cancer care services will be transitioned to the D’Amour Center for Cancer Care. Over the next two years, imaging/3D mammography and rehabilitation services, as well as OB/GYN and pediatric medical practices, will relocate to Baystate Wing.
- Emergency services: Baystate Wing Hospital offers comprehensive 24/7 emergency services in a newly constructed (2018) emergency department that is nine miles from the Baystate Mary Lane campus.
- Cancer services: comprehensive cancer care will be provided at the D’Amour Center for Cancer Care in Springfield, where consumers are already receiving specialized cancer care.
- Transportation: cancer consumers who receive care at Baystate Mary Lane will be offered transportation at no charge following the transition of care to Springfield. To support access to outpatient appointments at Baystate Wing Hospital when the two Baystate medical practices at BML transition over the next two years, Baystate will look to the strong foundation it has built with the Quaboag Connector and, if feasible, will further invest in this resource. More information will be forthcoming as needs, services and transportation options are evaluated.
Baystate Wing Hospital’s comprehensive health care service plans include:
- Primary and multi-specialty medical practices including integrated behavioral health, substance use treatment, with expanded hours and walk-in same day appointments. These practices currently serve the needs of Ware and Warren residents who accounted for more than 8,000 outpatient visits in fiscal year 2020.
- Specialty care in cardiology, pulmonary, gastroenterology, surgery, orthopedics, obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatrics, and significantly expanding GI endoscopy.
This was reported by Baystate Health on January 26, 2021.
Contact information: Baystate Health, 759 Chestnut Street, Springfield, Massachusetts 01199; 413-794-0000; Website: https://www.baystatehealth.org/