Myth: Mass General Brigham is going to steal patients from other providers which will put local community hospitals and independent providers out of business. Mass General Brigham is proposing services already available in the community and there is not enough community demand for more.
- Mass General Brigham is bringing care closer to our current patients by opening health care sites in their community
- 227,000 existing Mass General Brigham patients live in the communities of proposed health care sites
- There is plenty of demand from our existing patient population to justify the need for providing these services locally that they currently receive at one of our sites in Boston
Myth: This is a growth plan for Mass General Brigham which will increase capacity at their high-cost Boston hospitals.
- False. Mass General Brigham is committed to serving our current patients in their community to increase access and decrease costs while providing the same high-quality care for routine medical matters in health care facilities and through digital services. Our physicians work with our patients to determine the best care for them.
Myth: Mass General Brigham is the most expensive provider in the state and these sites will increase health care costs in Massachusetts. Mass General Brigham has the highest net patient service revenue in the state – 3X more than the next largest provider.
- Currently, 227,000 Mass General Brigham patients live in communities these health care centers will service
- These health care sites lower costs because they are not hospitals
- Mass General Brigham actual costs at these facilities are less because we do not have substantial fixed costs such 24/7 emergency rooms, ICUs, trauma centers, etc associated with hospitals
- Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurance companies will pay Mass General Brigham less for these services because they are not provided in a hospital setting
- Increasingly, care is provided outside a hospital in health care centers, via telemedicine, and at home across the country with great results
Myth: Mass General Brigham has chosen locations that are easily accessible to higher income, commercially insured patients which will worsen health equity. Mass General Brigham is cherry picking locations with high commercial patient populations which will destabilize the safety net. Mass General Brigham will be siphoning commercially insured patients from community providers leaving them with a disproportionate share of publicly insured patients.
- 227,000 Mass General Brigham existing patients live in the communities of the proposed health care facilities
- 57% of Mass General Brigham’s patient revenue is public payer payments
- 15% of Mass General Brigham’s existing patients live in the communities of the proposed health care facilities
- Our health care centers, like all Mass General Brigham facilities, will be open and accessible to all populations, including the underserved, poor, and medically indigent, and will not discriminate based on a patient’s race, gender, sexual orientation, ability to pay, or socio-economic status
- We accept all patients, regardless of ability to pay, including MassHealth. In fact, we participate in the MassHealth Primary Care ACO in addition to the traditional, standard Medicaid program
Myth: The addition of behavioral health services by Mass General Brigham will cause local hospitals to close mental health beds.
- The demand for behavioral and mental health services is now greater than ever
- The health care sites will offer outpatient behavioral and mental health services not inpatient beds at our sites
- Mass General Brigham behavioral and mental health providers at our health care sites will work with all local mental health providers to help place patients in the most appropriate setting for ongoing behavioral and mental health care needs
Myth: Mass General Brigham is proposing the same size center in three different locations even though Woburn has 100,000 existing patients and Westborough has only 42,000 patients because they are planning to expand the number of patients.
- We are designing buildings in a consistent manner because it is cost effective
- Using a “template” for all our sites will save four million dollars in construction costs per site
- In Woburn, we are requesting 2 MRIs and 2 CTs. However, in Westborough, we are only requesting 1 MRI and 1 CT
- Four OR rooms is optimal staffing to treat patients effectively and efficiently
Myth: For Westborough: Your community needs assessment says that access to medical services is the number two asset in the community; we don’t need more medical services.
- It is true that residents say access to medical services is an asset. However, 22% of survey respondents said that access to health care and social services was one of the most important issues to address in their community
- Nearly one-third of survey respondents identified financial insecurity and transportation as issues to address
- In focus groups, residents discussed how these issues are interrelated. For example, low-income residents found it more difficult to access health care and social services in the region because they had challenges with public transportation, or they could not take off time from work to obtain the services they needed
- Of those who have experienced challenges accessing health care and social services, nearly 54% of survey respondents indicated there were long wait times for appointments and 32% said they had trouble getting an evening or weekend appointment
Once the Determination of Needs are approved, our Community Advisory Board (CAB) will create three subcommittees. Each subcommittee will have representation from the local areas. These local subcommittees will identify the needs of the community and make recommendations to the CAB to allocate approximately seven million dollars to the local communities.