Friday, October 27, 2000
Emerson Hospital terminates relationship with Tufts Health Plan
Emerson Hospital and many of its physicians, along with other hospitals and physicians in the Partners Community Healthcare System, are terminating their contract with Tufts Health Plan as of April 1, 2001.
Tufts members who wish to continue seeing their doctor will be required to switch insurers. Those members whose employers only offer Tufts Health Plan will have to change physicians, unless they are in an active course of treatment (for a serious condition) that will continue after April 1, 2001, in which case they may be able to continue to receive care at Emerson.
Physicians at Acton Medical Associates and Concord-Hillside Medical Associates are not part of the termination agreement. Emerson will continue to accept Tufts Secure Horizons and will continue to provide inpatient mental health and substance abuse services to Tufts members. The hospital's emergency department will also continue to provide emergency services to any patient requiring such care, regardless of insurance status.
"While it is very difficult for us to stop serving any patients, we cannot continue to accept contracts that do not adequately cover the costs of providing care," said Emerson Hospital President and CEO Geoffrey F. Cole. "Over the past several years we have incurred a multimillion dollar loss at Emerson on the Tufts contract. The fees Tufts pays to doctors and hospitals are simply inadequate," added Cole.
Tufts' physician fees have not increased for five years, and when inflation and the rising costs of running a medical practice are factored in, their compensation has actually decreased by 20 percent.
Emerson Hospital and PCHS have mailed out a letter to every patient covered by Tufts to alert them to the change. They have also established a toll-free line to provide assistance and have created a special web page with up-to-date information.
Patients with questions about the Tufts termination are urged to call 1-800-544-9545 or to log on to www.partners.org/tufts.
Press release from Emerson Hospital.
© 2000 The Carlisle Mosquito