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Health Plan Merger: Harvard Pilgrim, Tufts Pursue Tie-Up

By Steven Porter  
   August 14, 2019

The organizations expect their combined strengths will enable them to improve affordability, increase access, improve quality, and streamline the customer experience.

Two major nonprofit health plan companies in New England are looking to join forces.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan announced Wednesday that they intend to combine their two nonprofit organizations. 

"Our communities and consumers today face four major hurdles in health care: affordability, access, quality of health and a fragmented health care experience across various stakeholders and health systems," said Tufts Health Plan President and CEO Tom Croswell in a statement. "Through our shared vision, we believe we can tackle these issues and bring more value to the communities we serve."

Croswell is expected to serve as CEO of the combined organization, while Harvard Pilgrim Health Care President and CEO Michael Carson serves as president, overseeing the combined business lines and subsidiary, according to the announcement.

Joyce Murphy, board chair for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, is expected to chair the combined board of directors, which will have equal representation from each legacy organization. 

"Through the combination of two strong organizations with a commitment to non-profit health care in New England, we will be able to provide even greater value to consumers, as well as improve access to care throughout the region," Murphy said in the statement.

The two organizations said they expect their combined strengths will enable them to improve affordability "through scale and administrative cost efficiencies," increase healthcare access, improve healthcare quality, and streamline the customer experience.

The combined organization, which has yet to be named, would serve nearly 2.4 million plan members in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticuit, and Rhode Island.

Both boards approved the agreement, but the organizations will remain separate pending regulatory approvals, according to the announcement.

Steven Porter is an associate content manager and Strategy editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.

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