High tax hits Massachusetts hospitals

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Partners Healthcare--the largest health system in Massachusetts and parent company of Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital--reported a $42 million tax levy due to a new cost-containment rule in the state, Boston Business Journal reported. The cost-containment law in Massachusetts targets hospitals with high operating expenses. Boston Children's Hospital reported a $8 million state charge, according to the Business Journal.

Reports also indicate that Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is estimated to incur a $10 million tax assessment for CareGroup, its parent company. However, BIDMC told FierceHealthcare that it has not reported its fiscal year numbers yet, but it expects to report an operating gain.

"Until then, it's unclear if CareGroup, which includes Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, will be subject to a tax," Jerry Berger, a spokesman for Beth Israel Deaconess, in a statement to FierceHealthcare.

"Throughout 2012, operating performance was reasonably strong," Partners CFO Peter K. Markell said about the overall gain of $33 million in the fourth quarter. "Partners, like many other healthcare providers, is taking on more financial risk in our contracts with health insurance companies. In order to be successful in this environment, we must continue to focus on managing the health of our patient populations," he added. Article

Editor's note: This article was updated on 12/19 at 4 p.m. EST to include comments from BIDMC.