Tufts saves $105M by reworking Partners HealthCare contract

Tufts Health Plan will save $105 million in reimbursement payments after it reworked a contract with Partners HealthCare, the largest hospital network in Massachusetts.

The new contract announced Wednesday limits the increases Tufts will pay to Partners' hospitals and doctors to the rate of inflation, or about 2 to 3 percent, which is half of the hike expected under the old contract, reported the Boston Herald.

It also moves Partners, the parent company of Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital, to a global payment system that rewards providers for meeting quality incentives, such as reducing hospital readmissions, rather than paying them for individual services, WBUR reported.

With the reworked contract, about 35 percent of Tufts' members and about 70 percent of its HMO members, will be under risk-based contracts that reset providers' budgets and quality measures each year, reported The Boston Globe.

"We're pleased they [Partners] were willing to reopen a contract that had two years to run," Tufts CEO James Roosevelt said. "We think this is a major step in reducing health care costs."

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts signed a similar contract with Partners last year.

To learn more:
- read the Boston Globe article
- see the WBUR article
- check out the Boston Herald article