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Tufts, Partners HealthCare seek agreement

Tufts Health Plan and Partners HealthCare System announced late on Sunday that they have resumed negotiations on a new agreement covering all of the Partners physicians and hospitals. This could affect MIT employees who have their health-insurance benefit through the Tufts Health Plan.

"Citing the needs of patients as their primary concern, the parties said they had made good progress in a series of discussions held throughout the weekend," they said in a statement following last week's breakdown. They committed to continue to work toward what they hope will be a successful resolution and a new agreement. The existing contracts remain in force until April 1, 2001.

The Partners HealthCare System includes Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, The North Shore Medical Center, Northeast PHO including Addison Gilbert Hospital and Beverly Hospital, Emerson Hospital, Faulkner Hospital, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Shaughnessy-Kaplan Rehabilitation Hospital, and the community-based physicians of Partners Community Healthcare, Inc., including Pentucket Medical Associates, Cape Ann Pediatrics, Cape Ann Medical Center, Charles River Medical Associates, Burlington Medical Associates, Compass Medical, Hawthorn Medical Associates, Bristol Primary Care Physicians, Cambridge Health Alliance and Lincoln Physicians.

Partners HealthCare System has set up a special patient information hotline at (800) 554-9545 and a web site to answer general questions.

Tufts Health Plan members who receive medical care through one of the organizations listed above should carefully consider their options during this month's MIT open-enrollment period. Open enrollment will be held from November 13-22; changes made during that period will take effect on January 1, 2001. Tufts Plan members have the following options:
��������� Remain a member of Tufts Health Plan and choose different Tufts physicians and hospitals.
��������� Enroll in the new Network Blue New England plan during the open enrollment to continue seeing their current Partners physicians.
��������� Enroll in the Traditional or the Flexible MIT Health Plan, and choose an MIT primary care physician at their Cambridge or Lexington center. They would also have access to specific physicians within the MIT Health Plan referral network at Massachusetts General Hospital (for medicine and surgery) and Brigham & Women's Hospital (for OB/GYN), when referred by their MIT primary care physicians.

Tuft Plan members may access physician directories on line to find out whether their physicians accept patients of Network Blue New England. Information about the MIT Health Plan physicians is also available on line. Printed directories are available from the Benefits Office.

Information about plan options and coverage are also available from the Benefits Office. Contact the Benefits Office staff by e-mail at, or by phone at x3-6151 (campus) or x7055 (Lincoln Laboratory).

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 1, 2000.

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