Tufts Medical Center, Vanguard Health Systems and a physician network in Massachusetts said they are in talks to develop a joint venture that would provide a flexible alternative to hospitals looking to join a larger health system.
A definitive agreement is expected to be reached this year on the formation of the new health system, according to a spokesman for Nashville-based Vanguard.
Vanguard owns 18 hospitals, including 158-bed MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, Mass., and 297-bed St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester.
The partnership would feature two for-profit joint ventures, said Eric Beyer, president and CEO of Boston's 279-bed Tufts Medical Center, which includes the Floating Hospital for Children.
One venture would provide physicians with the infrastructure and tools needed to participate in an accountable care organization. Tufts, Vanguard and the New England Quality Care Alliance are considering including tools or assistance for chronic care and population health management, administrative services for providers, new insurance products and direct-to-employer services.