Market Stabilizes Around Five Large Organizations:

Publication Date: January 1999

Publisher: Center for Studying Health System Change

Author(s): Claudia Williams; Jon B. Christianson; Melanie L. E. Barraclough; Daniel S. Gaylin

Research Area: Health

Type: Report

Coverage: Massachusetts


In September 1998, a team of researchers visited Boston, Mass., to study that community's health system, how it is changing and the impact of those changes on consumers. More than 60 leaders in the health care market were interviewed as part of the Community Tracking Study by Health System Change (HSC) and The Lewin Group. Boston is one of 12 communities tracked by HSC every two years through site visits and surveys. Individual community reports are published for each round of site visits. The first site visit to Boston, in September 1996, provided baseline information against which changes are being tracked. The Boston market includes the city of Boston and its suburbs. After a series of health plan and hospital mergers leading up to HSC's site visit in 1996, Boston's health care market entered a period of greater organizational stability. This trend continues today. Five nationally renowned not-for-profit organizations still dominate - two large care systems based in academic medical centers, Partners and CareGroup, and three large health plans, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Tufts Associated Health Plan and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSM). While there have been some shifts in the competitive position of these entities, no single organization or sector controls the market.