WA: Providence Adds PacMed to Its Western HealthConnect Division


Providence Health & Services has announced that it plans to create a secular affiliation with Pacific Medical Center, known as PacMed, based in Seattle.

In announcing the partnership, the Catholic hospital system said it will include PacMed in its Western HealthConnect division to keep the secular, multispecialty medical group independent from its religious policies on end-of-life care and reproductive healthcare.

Providence created Western HealthConnect as a separate entity when it affiliated with Swedish Health Services, another secular organization, in 2012.

Officials told the Puget Sound Business Journal that PacMed physicians and staff won’t be subject to any of the religious directives to which Providence is bound.  PacMed does not currently provide elective abortions or administer lethal medications allowed under the state’s Death with Dignity Act.

PacMed President and CEO Harvey Smith told PSBJ the affiliation with Providence will give his medical group more leverage at a time of increasing consolidation in the market.

“We need to collaborate with an organization that has sufficient resources and a similar community-minded mission and vision to succeed,” Smith said.

Modern Healthcare reported that the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed and that the partnership is expected to be finalized by March.