Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Posted: 10 Sep 2009

See all articles by Richard Bohmer

Richard Bohmer

Harvard University - Technology & Operations Management Unit

Natalie Kindred

Harvard Business School

Date Written: August 21, 2009


How will Newton-Wellesley Hospital (NWH) preserve its private practice tradition while remaining effective and competitive in a healthcare industry demanding increasing integration between physicians and hospitals? This is the decision facing Newton–Wellesley Hospital president Mike Jellinek in 2009, as several trends - higher costs and lower revenues, shifting workforce demographics, and changing reimbursement models - threaten to disrupt NWH’s organizational model. Similar to other U.S. community hospitals, NWH has historically been staffed primarily with private practitioners; however, in recent years Jellinek has taken several steps toward further integration, such as hiring primary care physicians and hospitalists, and even proposing formation of a physicians’ organization (PO) - a move its veteran private practitioners sharply oppose. In 2009, NWH is renowned for high-quality care and is financially strong; yet, given external pressures, most at the hospital agree that reforms are needed to improve the hospital’s and physician’s profitability while maintaining highest-quality patient care. Diverging opinions over how to improve the hospital has exposed differences between some private practice physicians and the administration. The crux of their disagreement centers on one question: how to make the organizational changes required to keep NWH effective and competitive in the face of a diminishing revenue growth rate, while honoring its tradition of physician independence.

Suggested Citation

Bohmer, Richard and Kindred, Natalie, Newton-Wellesley Hospital (August 21, 2009). HBS Case No. 609-088, Harvard Business School Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit, Available at SSRN:

Richard Bohmer (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Technology & Operations Management Unit ( email )

Soldiers Field
Morgan Hall T-15
Boston, MA 02163
United States
(617) 495-6660 (Phone)
(617) 496-4059 (Fax)

Natalie Kindred

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

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