Physicians at Southcoast Health System based in New Bedford, Mass., have opted to leave the physician network of Tufts Medical Center in Boston after merger plans with another system fell through.
About 425 doctors will depart from the New England Quality Care Alliance and create their own physician network called the Southcoast Health Network.
The announcement to pull from Tufts' physician network comes a few weeks after Southcoast halted merger plans with Care New England, the Boston Business Journal reported. The merger would have created the third largest health system in Massachusetts.
In a prepared statement, Peter Cohenno, a Southcoast spokesman, said, “Southcoast Health has grown significantly since originally joining NEQCA, and we now have the opportunity to continue on our journey and create a clinically integrated network for the South Coast communities.”
Southcoast operates four hospitals and outpatient centers throughout Massachusetts.
The New England Quality Care Alliance includes a network of nearly 1,800 physicians in Massachusetts. Southcoast physicians were part of the network for six years.
“We look forward to continuing our relationship until the end of this year and wish (Southcoast Health Network) much success in the future,” said Brooke Hynes, a spokeswoman for Tufts Medical Center, in a statement.
The 425 physicians from Southcoast the New England Quality Care Alliance will be replaced by physicians from Hallmark Health System in Medford, Mass. They will join the network Jan. 1, 2017. They announced plans to join the New England Quality Care Alliance in July after it was Hallmark said it would be acquired by the parent system of Tufts, Wellforce.