Tufts Medical Center is considering teaming up with for-profit Vanguard Health System to buy independent hospitals in Massachusetts and work with Tufts’ physician organization to negotiate better deals with health insurers, reported Boston.com.
The proposed alliance, while not a merger, could reshape the state’s health care industry by giving Tufts and Vanguard more clout to compete with the fast-growing Steward Health Care System as well as with Partners HealthCare System, Massachusetts’ largest medical-care provider, reported the Boston Globe.
The first test case would be Tufts’ plans to take a minority stake in Vanguard-owned MetroWest Medical Center, which operates Framingham Union Hospital and Leonard Morse Hospital in Natick.
“This will be an innovative partnership unlike anything Massachusetts has seen to date. This system will deliver for patients and providers on cost, service and quality. It offers an excellent option for physicians and hospitals who are exploring potential alignments as we move toward building accountable care organizations,” said Eric Beyer, president and CEO of Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children in a report in the Boston Herald.
“With this partnership we will build upon the shared vision and strong cultural alignment we have with Tufts Medical Center and NEQCA. This arrangement illustrates our commitment to the New England market — one of the most dynamic centers of health care in the United States and across the world,” said Erik Wexler, president of the New England market for Vanguard Health Systems and president and CEO of Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester. Nashville-based Vanguard operates 28 hospitals nationwide, including MetroWest Medical Center.
"Together we can provide transformative approaches to clinical and business operations, especially around patient safety, care delivery and patient experience," Wexler told the Worcester Business Journal.
"This relationship further delivers what Massachusetts needs: an enhanced high-quality, lower-cost network that supports community-based care and has access to excellent academic medical center services as well as flexible and sustainable capital," Wexler said.