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Going Statewide: Explaining the PACT Hartford HealthCare Partnership

Adding certainty in a very uncertain year

If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that there’s a lot of uncertainty in the world. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many practices have been challenged to remain open, while our representatives in government have continued to question the structure and philosophy behind the US healthcare system.

Here at PACT, one thing that has brought more certainty to our business occurred a few months ago: In July, we agreed to launch a new partnership with Hartford HealthCare, one of the largest healthcare networks in Connecticut.

For comparison, PACT has primary and specialty care offices in 21 locations in southern and central Connecticut, while Hartford HealthCare Medical Group has close to 400 locations and affiliated healthcare facilities, throughout the state.

An introduction to Hartford HealthCare

Hartford HealthCare has a wealth of resources. It has nearly 400 locations serving 185 towns and cities, including two tertiary-level teaching hospitals, an acute-care community teaching hospital, an acute-care hospital and trauma center, three community hospitals, the state’s most extensive behavioral health network, a large multispecialty physician group, a clinical care organization, a regional home care system, an array of senior care services, and a large physical therapy and rehabilitation network. Hartford HealthCare’s unique, system-wide Institute Model offers a single, high standard of care in crucial specialties at hospital and ambulatory sites across Connecticut. The institutes include: Cancer, Heart and Vascular, Ayer Neuroscience, Orthopedics and Tallwood Urology. From a partnership standpoint, Hartford HealthCare brings a lot to the table.

Maintaining independence

While PACT’s agreement with Hartford Healthcare provides access to extensive resources, partnering with a larger organization can raise concerns that the smaller partner will lose its unique identity and values. But PACT’s goals in finding a strategic partner were not only to extend PACT’s reach and resources, but to maintain PACT’s independence and to support PACT providers in offering high-quality, value-based healthcare services in a private practice setting.

Partnering with Hartford HealthCare was the opportunity PACT was looking for. Like PACT, Hartford HealthCare has a strong commitment to physician leadership at every level of the organization. It also shares many of the values that have been the cornerstone of PACT’s approach to patient care.

PACT and Hartford HealthCare also have some history together: four years ago, PACT became a member of Hartford HealthCare’s clinically integrated network, Integrated Care Partners, an affiliation that helped introduce PACT to Hartford HealthCare’s values and people.

Partnership details

Under the agreement with Hartford HealthCare, PACT remains an independent medical practice operating under the Hartford HealthCare umbrella. PACT is still managed by its independent managed service organization, PACT MSO. The new PACT-Hartford Healthcare partnership will continue to recruit additional primary care and specialty providers to better serve the patients in our catchment area: from New Haven north to Wallingford, northeast to Old Saybrook and southwest to Fairfield.

At the same time, PACT gains immediate access to a world-class, statewide healthcare network of world-class specialists, along with the resources and financial support of a larger and established partner. PACT providers will be more able to easily refer patients to Hartford HealthCare physicians and vice versa. Being affiliated with a larger organization will enable PACT practices to pursue the latest technologies, including a state of the art electronic health record, and new service lines, providing up-to-date, quality healthcare services to patients while maintaining or exceeding established guidelines for standards of care.

What has changed?

The most visible change as a result of the partnership is that PACT has a new name: It’s now PACT-Hartford HealthCare. Eventually, billing and other correspondence will include both groups’ logos. But from a provider and patient perspective, most of the changes are in the background. Patients will still have access to all PACT’s providers. PACT-Hartford HealthCare will continue to seek new practices to complement its existing network. It will continue to provide value-based and personalized healthcare services, with a reach that now extends throughout Connecticut.

At PACT-Hartford HealthCare, we’re confident that the partnership will bring significantly more stability during these unprecedented times. As PACT CEO and founding member Dr. David Simon says, “The Hartford HealthCare partnership was an incredible opportunity and you don’t get opportunities like these very often in healthcare today. The year has been a tough one – especially for medical practices. With PACT’s new partnership with Hartford HealthCare, PACT patients and providers won’t have to worry as much about structural changes in the industry or unforeseen events like COVID-19. We will continue to be a beacon in the fog and a refuge for private practice providers looking for a landing spot to continue to provide value-based and high-quality healthcare.”