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Letter: Mass General Brigham’s proposed expansion may widen health disparities

July 19, 2021

In this Letter to the Editor, patient, UMass Memorial Health employee and resident of Holden, MA, Liz Parker Gagne addresses her concerns about Mass General Brigham’s proposed expansion. She reflects on the quality of care that she received after giving birth to her son, who was born under 2 lbs., and the lifesaving care he received at UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center. Parker Gagne also gives thanks to UMass Memorial Health for taking care of her community during the COVID-19 crisis. Worried that Mass General Brigham’s expansion will put current providers and services at risk, Parker calls for the protection of existing safety-net hospitals.

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SHARE and MNA Join The Coalition To Protect Community Care

June 21, 2021

Joining other local organizations that oppose Mass General Brigham’s planned expansion into well-serviced communities, the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) and the State Healthcare and Research Employees Union (SHARE) have formally endorsed the Coalition to Protect Community Care. Both MNA and SHARE have echoed concerns about how Mass General Brigham’s expansion will negatively impact patients, threaten the financial viability of essential local providers, and worsen existing health disparities by forcing safety net providers to reduce critical service offerings or close their doors entirely.

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Spending is Still on the Rise at MGB

June 2, 2021

Reining in healthcare spending is a top priority for state healthcare regulators. Data shared at a recent Massachusetts Health Policy Commission meeting revealed that spending growth at Mass General Brigham, which has been consistently ranked as one of the state’s most expensive health systems, increased at higher rates than most of its peers during 2019. David Auerbach, a health economist and senior director of research at the Health Policy Commission, expressed that MGB’s spending growth is unusual when compared to other large systems in the Commonwealth.

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MGB expansion will leave the most vulnerable residents in Central Massachusetts behind

May 25, 2021

In this opinion piece, Elizabeth Louder, Vice President at Community Healthlink, argues that Mass General Brigham’s planned expansion will threaten the viability of essential community providers that offer care to many of Central Massachusetts’ most vulnerable patients, including those with substance use disorder, mental illness, or those experiencing homelessness. Elizabeth explains her concerns, stating that Mass General Brigham’s proposed Westborough location is inaccessible for lower-income individuals and will attract commercially insured patients away from local providers, which may force them to close or reduce access to critical services including behavioral health support, substance use disorder treatment, and other forms of care.

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Mass General Brigham’s proposed expansion jeopardizes community care

May 23, 2021

In this op-ed, District One City Councilor in Worcester and Thrive Support & Advocacy President and CEO Sean M. Rose responds to MGB’s claims about care accessibility and cost at its proposed ambulatory care centers in Woburn, Westwood, and Westborough, arguing that these communities are already well served by less expensive community providers. Rose goes on to note that these proposed centers are intended to attract commercially insured patients away from community health systems and will raise the overall cost of care, threatening local providers’ ability to offer critical safety net services.

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What we need to know about Mass General Brigham expansion

May 23, 2021

Mass General Brigham’s outpatient expansion proposal has serious implications for the state’s healthcare landscape, and regulators must evaluate the potential burden this proposal will have on healthcare costs, local providers, and patients. Paul Hattis, a retired Tufts University Medical School professor and former commissioner of the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission, argues that a detailed cost analysis should explore the proposal’s specific impact on commercial spending, the financial viability of local providers, people living in the ambulatory site service areas, and health equity.

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Mass General Brigham’s plans for expansion stir concern

May 13, 2021

In this letter, Dr. Phillip J. Gray, Medical Director of MelroseWakefield Radiation Oncology, shares his thoughts about Mass General Brigham’s proposed outpatient center in the Woburn area. He notes that community-based physicians have the same level of training and experience as MGB providers. As a former employee of Partners Healthcare, now Mass General Brigham, Dr. Gray was told in no certain terms to ensure a steady stream of cash by referring patients to costly Partner’s specialists. Dr. Gray believes that MGB’s proposed expansion in Woburn is simply a mechanism of the system’s ambitions.

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Will a new name and game plan satisfy the old Partners appetite for growth?

May 10, 2021

Opposition to Mass General Brigham’s expansion plans is being driven by “legitimate policy concerns,” columnist Joan Vennochi writes. Community groups and major lawmakers, including Speaker of the House Ronald Mariano and the Office of Attorney General Maura Healey, have spoken to the impact that proposals like Mass General Brigham’s could have on safety net care, health equity, healthcare costs, and the local economy.

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Mass General Brigham’s plan for surgical centers in suburbs stirs controversy

May 6, 2021

Mass General Brigham is facing steep opposition from community healthcare providers, elected officials, residents, nonprofits, and local businesses in response to its plans to build ambulatory surgery centers in Westborough, Westwood and Woburn. These far-reaching groups share growing concerns about how MGB’s expansion will increase healthcare costs, impact the financial viability of local medical providers, and shape the state’s healthcare landscape.

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New coalition forms to fight Mass. General Brigham’s $2B expansion

April 28, 2021

The Coalition to Protect Community Care launched in late April with broad-based support from nonprofits, business leaders, regional chambers of commerce and local healthcare providers. This diverse coalition of concerned community members is seeking to challenge Mass General Brigham’s proposed ambulatory surgery centers, which will threaten the high-quality care provided by local health systems and raise healthcare spending. The oppositional effort has prompted calls for the Department of Public Health to closely scrutinize Mass General Brigham’s proposal through the lens of health equity, community demand and cost.

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Mass General Brigham Expansion Draws Coalition Opposition

April 28, 2021

Formally challenging Mass General Brigham’s Determination of Need proposals for the development of new outpatient centers in Woburn, Westwood and Westborough, the Coalition to Protect Community Care has launched to amplify the concerns of local providers, contain healthcare costs and preserve health equity within vulnerable local communities. According to spokesperson Dan Cence, “Local healthcare providers are critical to the wellbeing of our communities and have proven time and time again their dedication to delivering high-quality, high-value care to all patients. MGB’s outpatient expansion plans will threaten their ability to provide outstanding care to all community members, including our most vulnerable.” 

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