Steward nabs Partners HealthCare physician group

Steward Health Care System nabbed another Massachusetts physician group, this time away from Partners HealthCare, reports The Boston Globe. Following the recent, highly contentious score of Whittier Independent Practice Association, a physician group formerly affiliated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Steward on Tuesday announced that the Compass Medical practice would join its expanding network.

The new Steward-Compass Medical deal ends a 16-year affiliated relationship between Partners and Compass Medical. Compass Medical, which has 90 physicians in eight offices, will likely refer thousands of patients to Steward-owned community hospitals, including Quincy Medical Center, Good Samaritan Medical Center, and Morton Hospital, according to the Globe article.

Compass Medical made the switch to better coordinate patient care with community hospitals, Compass Chief Executive Jamie Barber told the newspaper.

"Care needs to be a lot more coordinated and integrated than it is today,'' Barber said. "What we need are community hospital partners.''

However, there is growing concern in the area about Steward's expanding network. With a recent buying spree, the for-profit operator now has 10 hospitals in Massachusetts with more than 14,000 employees. Even more, community hospitals in the state are examining closely the contracts between Steward and the physician group, Whittier Independent Practice Association. Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals this week called on the state attorney general to review the Steward-physician contracts, which they called "predatory actions against community hospitals."

For more information:
- read the Boston Globe article
- read the Providence Business News article
- read the Patriot Ledger article

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