Partners Healthcare, Massachusett's largest healthcare system, will initially focus on care for patients receiving treatment for colon cancer, strokes, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The intent is to reduce admissions and duplicative tests while preserving the quality of care.
Partners' President Dr. Gary Gottlieb did not provide any specific cost-savings estimates, only that the system--which includes Massachusetts General and Brigham & Women's Hospitals--is under pressure to reduce costs. In 2009, the state's attorney general issued a report that some hospitals and physicians were paid twice as much as others, even though the quality of care was essentially the same.
"We're running a healthcare system that has as its driving mission to bring the best and brightest to care for the sickest. If that's crowding out society's ability to pay for firefighters, that's not OK with us,'' Gottlieb said.
According to Andrew Dreyfus, executive director of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, providers in the Bay State need to reduce healthcare inflation close to the rate of overall inflation. Currently, healthcare costs are rising an average of about 7.5 percent a year.