An integrated healthcare delivery system sponsored by two of Boston's biggest teaching hospitals announced affiliations last week with two more physician groups, increasing the Partners Community HealthCare roster of primary-care doctors to more than 500.
The physician-hospital organization of Melrose-Wakefield Hospital adds 130 physicians who collectively care for 80,000 patients in more than a dozen suburbs north of Boston.
Hawthorn Medical Associates, a group practice operating in the New Bedford area of southeastern Massachusetts, adds 22 internists in a long-term joint venture involving an undisclosed financial arrangement, a spokeswoman said.
Partners Community HealthCare is a division of Partners HealthCare System, a corporate holding company formed through the affiliation of Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital.
The affiliation of the Melrose-based PHO, called Melrose-Wakefield/Metro North Healthcare Alliance, does not include Melrose-Wakefield Hospital. But the hospital has an equal interest in the PHO with its staff physicians.
Partners HealthCare System is one of several regional networks scrambling for physicians and geographic coverage in the intensely competitive Boston market, which is consolidating under the pressures of HMO penetration that's now approaching 50%.