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Influence of Blue Cross Blue Shield Grows in Boston
Continued Ascendance of Blue Cross Impacting Health Plans, Providers and State Policy
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Blue Cross enrollment has reached almost 1.5 million people in the Boston market, nearly the combined size of its two main local rivalsTufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. The relative market stability forged by the presence of such a large health plan is reinforced by the similarly strong presence of Partners HealthCarethe markets largest hospital systemand growing cooperation between these two major players.
"Bostons health care market is increasingly dominated by two large playersBlue Cross among health plans and Partners among providers-that are working together on issues ranging from pay-for-performance initiatives to pressing the state for higher provider Medicaid payments," said Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., president of HSC, a nonpartisan policy research organization funded principally by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Other key findings of the report, Blue Cross Influence Grows in Boston as State Revisits Reform Debates, which is available here, include:
Boston is one of 12 communities across the country tracked intensively by HSC researchers through site visits. The new report is based on a June 2005 site visit and interviews with more than 90 Boston health care leaders, representing health plans, employers, hospitals, physicians and policy makers.
The Center for Studying Health System Change is a nonpartisan policy research organization committed to providing objective and timely research on the nations changing health system to help inform policy makers and contribute to better health care policy. HSC, based in Washington, D.C., is funded principally by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is affiliated with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.