In the fall, Virtua is going a step further, presenting a "Healthcare Collaborations Summit" in Center City, an all-day event that promises to bring together national and regional leaders to discuss the major changes engulfing the industry as the country tries to trim the growth rate of health-care spending.
There is nothing unusual about the topics planned for the Oct. 4 meeting, which is being put on in partnership with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, though promotional materials put Virtua in the lead position.
What is definitely unusual is that fact that a community health system like Virtua is presenting it, said Plymouth Meeting health-care consultant Gerald Katz.
He said it looked to him as if chief executive Richard Miller were positioning Virtua to "become a player on this side of the river," referring to Pennsylvania.
It's not a matter of Miller buying more hospitals with beds that are going to be increasingly empty in a future where more and more care is likely to be done in outpatient settings or at home, Katz said.
"It's about putting together a delivery system, which he can't do himself. He's got to be part of something bigger," Katz said.
Asked Thursday about Virtua's motivation for the meetings, Miller said: "It's trying to give a public awareness of" of major changes in health care.
"When you see consolidation, when you see the care model changing, here's why," Miller said.
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