70 Tufts physicians transitioning to Boston Children's amid pediatric hospital closure

Tufts Medical Center in Boston is planning to transition physicians as it prepares to close inpatient services for children by the end of June, according to public radio station WBUR.

Tufts spokesperson Jeremy Lechan told Becker's via email that about 70 pediatric physicians will transition to Boston Children's Hospital on July 1, meaning about 80 percent of Tufts pediatric physicians will be retained.

"We are sending patient letters to every patient who received care at Tufts Children's Hospital in the past three years; the letters will include information on pediatric care options, both within and outside of our collaborations with Boston Children's Hospital," Mr. Lechan said.

He also said Tufts and Boston Children's Hospital have set up call centers to help answer patient and family questions. The Tufts line for patients and families is 866-978-2339 and the BCH line is 617-355-5437.

Tufts announced its decision in January to close its 41-bed Tufts Children's Hospital, citing less demand for pediatric care and increasing demand for adult care. The decision prompted concerns from workers and patients, in part because of concerns that costs for care could rise. 

Under the Tufts plan, current pediatric inpatient space will be converted to adult inpatient space, and Tufts is coordinating with Boston Children's Hospital to transfer care. Tufts Children's plans to maintain outpatient pediatric specialty clinics, as well as neonatal intensive care unit and pediatric primary care services on site. 

Meanwhile, as Tufts prepares to close inpatient services for children, Boston Children's is expanding by opening its new 11-story Hale Family Building, which features 150 new beds, a bigger intensive care unit for babies and more than 12 high-tech operating rooms, according to WBUR.

"This is such a milestone for us," Patricia Hickey, PhD, RN, associate chief nurse for cardiovascular, critical care and perioperative services for Boston Children's, told the radio station, adding that surgeries were previously often delayed or canceled because space was insufficient.

Read the full WBUR report here

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