Healthcare Business News

Safety net health plan to join Partners HealthCare

By Paul Barr
Posted: August 11, 2011 - 8:00 am ET

Not-for-profit system Partners HealthCare, Boston, signed a letter of intent with Neighborhood Health Plan, Boston, that would have the safety net not-for-profit managed-care organization become a part of 12-hospital Partners.

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No money would change hands under the agreement, according to Partners spokesman Rich Copp. Neighborhood Health has 240,000 members and employs more than 400 people, and would operate as a separate legal entity, according to a fact sheet on the agreement.

One of the reasons the agreement makes sense from Partners' perspective is that both organizations are “deeply committed to community health centers and the belief that CHCs are a cornerstone of a cost-effective healthcare delivery system, particularly for the underserved,” said Dr. Gary Gottlieb, president and CEO of Partners, in a letter to employees. The bulk of Neighborhood Health's members receive coverage through public programs such as Medicaid and the state's coverage program, Commonwealth Care, Gottlieb wrote.

After due diligence is performed, regulatory approvals will be sought, including from the state's Division of Insurance and Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and federal and state anti-trust reviews will be required, according to the fact sheet.

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