The state’s largest employer is changing its name

Partners HealthCare to become Mass General Brigham

PARTNERS HEALTHCARE, the state’s dominant health care provider and the largest employer in Massachusetts, is changing its name to Mass General Brigham.

The new name shifts the focus of the health care system away from an all-encompassing, corporate title that was created 25 years ago and zeroes in on the company’s two world-renowned hospitals – Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s.

In a letter to the company’s 75,000 employees, Anne Klibanski, the president and CEO, unveiled a new  patient-centered strategy for the health care system.

“The overall aim of our strategy and our new name is to create the premier integrated health care system of the future, built on the strong reputations of our academic medical centers,” Klibanski said in the letter. “We will increasingly work as a single health care system that delivers excellence across the full spectrum of health care and is enabled by the strength of research, innovation, new technologies, our valued employees and work we do in communities – work that will extend to impact health worldwide. Our focus must be to deliver the right care at the right place at the right time.”

Partners has often been described as a health care colossus using its strong reputation and market clout to extract outsized payments from insurers and steer patients to its Boston medical centers. But Klibanski mentioned none of that in her letter. Instead, she said a new five-year strategic plan will focus on five themes. The first three themes are fairly broad — reinforcing for patients that the company is the “go to” place for care; expanding the firm’s national and international impact on health; and accelerating innovations in diagnostics, therapeutics, devices, and data analytics.

The fourth theme calls for a “focus on a value-based model that delivers affordable primary care, secondary care, and behavioral health care in the community and makes patient-centered programs and services central to delivering better outcomes for our patients.”

The fifth theme is a pledge to “further serve our communities by working to address a leading community health issue,” suggesting Mass General Brigham may play a role in dealing with one of a number of social determinants of health. Social determinants of health are societal and environmental factors that influence a patient’s health, including access to healthy foods, clean air, housing, safe neighborhoods, and education.

“Operating as a single, integrated system and implementing our strategic priorities will help us to achieve a set of critical goals: improving patient outcomes and access through existing and new delivery methods, expanding our impact by getting more breakthrough innovations out into the world, reducing the total cost of care and improving both patient and provider experience,” Klibanski said in her letter.

Meet the Author

Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

“Our new name will support, but not replace, our academic medical center names. The new system name will also complement our community and specialty hospitals, providing greater alignment among all of our hospitals,” she said.

Changing the name of such a massive employer is no small task, and could cost tens of millions of dollars. Klibanski said the name change will not happen overnight, but instead will phase in as part of a transition.