Update on Tufts Medical Center Discussions

May 13, 2015

Dear Members of the Tufts University Community,

Over the last several months, Tufts Medical Center and Boston Medical Center have been in exploratory discussions about a possible merger of their organizations. The leadership of Tufts Medical Center has informed us that both medical centers have determined that it is best that the centers remain separate, and they have concluded discussions. We fully respect this decision. As we have previously explained, there was never any discussion of merging Tufts University School of Medicine and Boston University School of Medicine.

Dr. Michael Wagner’s message to the Tufts Medical Center community follows below.

Sincerely,

Anthony P. Monaco
President

Harris Berman, MD, FACP
Dean, Tufts University School of Medicine

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Message from President and CEO Michael Wagner to the Tufts Medical Center Community

Dear Tufts Medical Center Community,

You know that I have been a great advocate for transformational change in health care. I strongly believe Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital have the experience and ability to be leaders of that change. We have built a strong base for success and innovation in our affiliations with NEQCA, Lowell General/Circle Health, Wellforce and our distributed pediatric network. We have not shied away from pursuing new ideas and considering ways to operate differently.

Our discussions with Boston Medical Center have been an example of our readiness to explore new ideas. Since last year, we have worked with our colleagues at BMC to thoughtfully study the possibility of combining our two historic, vital institutions. While these conversations were thought-provoking and worthwhile, our boards have decided that now is not the time to bring our organizations together. I have great respect for BMC’s mission and we remain open to future opportunities for collaboration as neighboring institutions.

What this process has most affirmed for me is the importance of the Tufts Medical Center mission to innovatively serve as the principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine and the tertiary partner for our community network. Last year, with Lowell General/Circle Health, we established Wellforce as a powerful vehicle to enable us to engage in new types of collaborations with other providers. Already, our affiliation with Lowell General Hospital is achieving its goals. Our discharges from the Lowell region have increased 33 percent, and Lowell General has seen a substantial increase in volume and is able to keep more care locally. In addition, we are working with doctors in the Lowell area and with NEQCA on ways to improve shared technologies and enhance the ways we coordinate care. Our New England Quality Care Alliance remains a vital source of referrals for us and a potent incubator of new ideas in health care that are improving care and reducing costs. We are strong and will continue to be an innovative system in this market.

I am deeply grateful to all of you for your steadfast commitment to our hospital and our patients over these past months as we considered a partnership with BMC; during a time of uncertainty, you continued to deliver outstanding care to our patients and service to our referring physicians. I particularly thank all of you who helped us with our analysis of this possibility over the past several months; that work has identified new opportunities for us to improve our operations and has helped us further define our strengths. I look forward to continuing our pursuit of excellence with all of you.

Sincerely,

Michael Wagner, MD
President and CEO
Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children