Circle Health CEO to meet with Column Blog
Normand Deschene, the CEO of Circle Health, is kind of like a victorious general these days.
The decades-old battle between Lowell General Hospital, which Deschene has overseen since 2003, and Saints Medical Center is finally over, with the two sides having just signed the armistice.
Circle Health is the new corporate entity that will oversee the merged entities of Lowell General and Saints and Saints Medical Center.
Deschene is kind of like Harry S. Truman, the 33rd president of the United States who was reponsible for rebuilding Europe following World War II. Truman faced a daunting task, as does Deschene in getting these two previously warring medical facilities functioning as one harmonious unit.
For starters, Deschene has apparently moved his office from the Varnum Avenue campus of Lowell General to Saints. That should send a positive message, particularly to the Saints’ community.
But just imagine the stack of papers on Deschene’s desk, or the number of emails in his in-box. The numbers must be staggering.
The Column Blog is scheduled to interview Deschene Wednesday afternoon. Among the issues that will hopefully be discussed:
• Real estate. The Column Blog posted an item several weeks ago that focused on Lowell General purchasing several Saints’ buildings for $35 million. With the merger now complete, what’s the future of those buildings? What about the Saints’ facility on Bridge Street on the Lowell/Dracut line or the Saints’ womens’ clinic in North Andover.
• Personnel. Lowell General’s acquisition of Saints has already led to the departure of Saints’ CEO for the last few years, Stephen Guimond. But there’s other top management folks at Saints’ who’ve got counterparts at Lowell General. With the health-care dollar being as tight as it is, there is not room for everyone.
• A colleague raised the issue of competition. Competition, and generally lower lost, is generated by competing entities. With Lowell General now having swallowed-up its local competition, will it result in lower health-care costs for thousands of patients in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Lowell General, however, has for years looked past Saints’ and to the big Boston hospitals as its big competitor.
• And what’s going on with Cigna, the health insurance provider. The Column Blog has received several calls from folks worried that Lowell General has apparently severed ties with Cigna, effective Aug. 1.Explore posts in the same categories: The Column