Kaiser Permanente has struck a deal with Sibley Memorial Hospital in Northwest D.C. to admit Kaiser-insured mothers for labor, delivery and newborn care services, officials said. As part of the deal, more than 80 Kaiser doctors will have admissions privileges at Sibley.
“We’re always looking for ways to enhance our delivery system, expand services and expand locations,” said Dr. Bernadette Loftus, associate executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group. “We’re continually looking at all of our services, and one of the things we thought would be useful would be to add another source for labor and delivery.”
The deal is the first hospital partnership between Kaiser and Johns Hopkins Medicine, which owns Sibley, in the immediate Washington area. However, Kaiser steers many patients to Johns Hopkins’ flagship facility for inpatient care in Baltimore.
The deal also fills in a minor geographic gap in Kaiser’s footprint, Loftus said. Prior to this deal, Kaiser’s inpatient obstetrics partners included Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Washington Hospital Center, Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Inova Fairfax Hospital and Reston Hospital Center.
Under Kaiser’s closed-system model, its insured members generally must visit Kaiser-owned clinics for outpatient care. But Kaiser contracts with a limited network of hospitals to provide inpatient care, unlike more traditional insurance plans, which usually compete on choice and strive to contract with as many hospitals as possible.