HCN News & Notes

Berkshire Health Systems, Berkshire Healthcare Systems Announce New Collaboration

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Health Systems (BHS) and Berkshire Healthcare Systems (BHCS) announced a structural reorganization between the two entities that will enhance opportunities for strategic collaboration and conclude a long-standing shared-services management agreement between the two nonprofit organizations.

BHCS was established under BHS sponsorship in 1987, with the mission of providing high-quality services to individuals needing short-term rehabilitation and long-term care. BHCS operates a variety of skilled-nursing and rehabilitation facilities, assisted-living facilities, and other senior housing and hospice care services in Berkshire County as well as across Massachusetts.

A management-services arrangement through a BHS affiliate known as BHS Management Services (BHSMS) allowed BHCS to share in the health system’s administrative strengths and efficiencies. The two organizations, each with their own governing boards, recently concluded that BHCS has independent capabilities strong and comprehensive enough to no longer benefit from additional administrative support of BHSMS.

“BHS and BHCS are proud of all we have jointly accomplished to provide high-quality care to so many of our region’s most vulnerable residents for more than 30 years,” said David Phelps, president and CEO of BHS. “As our organizational relationship evolves, we are looking forward to focusing on specific clinical collaborations to effectively support the health and well-being of the communities we serve.”

BHS and BHCS have effectively partnered in numerous clinical areas, from behavioral health to respiratory programs to antibiotic stewardship.

“This transition will allow both entities to more closely focus on their respective missions and areas of expertise, working together when it will best serve the community,” Phelps said. “For Berkshire Health Systems, that means delivering excellent clinical services to patients in Berkshire County across the full spectrum of care. Berkshire Healthcare Systems, in turn, will continue to provide outstanding long-term care to not only residents of Berkshire County in collaboration with BHS, but throughout the state.”

To complete this transition, each BHCS staff member now employed by BHSMS will be offered the opportunity to continue in their current roles, although under an employment arrangement with a BHCS entity, effective Feb. 1, 2022.

“We will continue to strategically coordinate patient transitions and care opportunities between BHS and BHCS facilities in the Berkshires to ensure that everyone receives the best care possible,” said William Jones, president of Berkshire Healthcare Systems.

“We will also continue our close working relationships with the Berkshire community organizations and local governments that have been our faithful partners for decades.”