Clinical Care

Clinical care

As a "safety net" hospital, we serve three important roles: taking care of the most critically ill children, taking care of children from low-income families and making sure a system of care is in place throughout the region to serve primary and sub-specialty pediatric care needs.

  • Our Case Mix Index, a measure of the intensity of the illnesses of the children we care for, is 75 percent higher than the in-state average, and nearly 1/3 of our patients have five or more diagnoses, which is twice that of the state average. In the event of a life-threatening situation, we are there for your children, with the most sophisticated equipment, skilled staff and latest breakthroughs. Providing this high level of care and innovation requires tremendous human and technical resources.
  • We provide more care to children of low-income families than any other hospital in Massachusetts and lost $23 million serving patients covered by Medicaid in FY08. We also subsidize the delivery of services that are badly needed but for which full payment is not made by public and private payers, such as mental health and dental care.
  • Boston Children's believes that collaboration is the best way to provide an efficient and high-quality safety network for children who require pediatric care and may also come from low-income families. The hospital has established collaborations with seven community-based hospitals, where Children's pediatric specialists staff emergency rooms, NICUs and inpatient pediatric units. This allows those hospitals to keep their pediatric services open, while at the same time bringing Children's high-quality care closer to patients. If more high-level care is required, these patients can be transferred to the hospital's main campus.
  • Boston Children's has also always stepped forward, regardless of cost, when help was needed. We provide support throughout New England, with Dartmouth-Hitchcock in NH, Hasbro Children's in RI, and Fletcher Allen in VT relying on Children's specialists for consultative support. We also provided support for Tufts Medical Center's PICU, neurology and GI services during their hard financial times, and still provide radiology coverage there. In addition, our physicians staff Boston Medical Center's PICU and surgical service and share cardiology faculty, and our GI subspecialists provide "daytime moonlighting" at UMass Worcester.