Healthcare Business News

Boston-area hospitals partner on new health system

By Rachel Landen
Posted: April 16, 2014 - 4:00 pm ET

Tufts Medical Center, Boston, and Lowell (Mass.) General Hospital are partnering to form a health system to encourage collaboration between academic teaching hospitals and community-based providers.

Under the new arrangement, the two not-for-profit organizations and their physician groups—Tufts' New England Quality Care Alliance and the Lowell General Physician Hospital Organization—will continue to operate independently. But as part of an as-yet unnamed parent company, Tufts and Lowell are expected to benefit from improved scale for population health data management, group purchasing efficiencies and development of new services, according to a release on the deal.

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“We know from experience that strong hospitals and physician groups like ours seek the scale necessary to leverage collaborative technologies and data sharing that allow us to improve access to affordable, high quality healthcare for the communities we serve,” Lowell CEO Normand Deschene said in a release. “We believe the market is hungry for this type of value-driven system.”

Deschene will serve as the new parent company's CEO, and Ellen Zane, who retired as Tufts' president and CEO in 2011, will serve as its chairperson. Tufts and Lowell will have equal representation on the board of the parent company.

Since 1993, Tufts' Floating Hospital for Children has shared a clinical affiliation with Lowell to provide the advanced specialty care and resources of an academic medical center in a local facility. Tufts also has clinical affiliations with four other hospitals in Massachusetts—Lawrence General Hospital, MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, MetroWest Medical Center in Natick, and Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital.

“We have seen the success of working with Tufts Medical Center and its commitment to partnering with community hospitals firsthand through our successful pediatric and clinical-care affiliations,” Lowell President Joseph White said in the release. “Ultimately, this partnership will help us continue to deliver on our promise of complete connected care to members of our community—no matter where they access that care.”

Follow Rachel Landen on Twitter: @MHrlanden

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