How Boston-area hospitals are catering to the suburbs

Marquee Boston-based hospitals such as Massachusetts General Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have been expanding their footprint in the surrounding suburbs, according to news reports.

A January 4, 2021 Boston Magazine article explored the ins and outs of the trend, provided tips for patients navigating these health systems, and discussed the benefits of large urban teaching hospitals increasing their presence outside of city limits. The article quoted two experts from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health—Nancy Kane, adjunct professor of management, and David Cutler, professor in the Department of Global Health and Population and Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics at Harvard University.

“Often the community hospitals get access to a group of specialists they wouldn’t be able to retain on their own, who can be rotated out to the community—the kinds of doctors who otherwise you have to go to town to see,” said Kane.

Cutler voiced concerns over the fact that the trend appears to favor wealthier suburbs with large numbers of privately insured patients. “The business model for a hospital is to make money on some stuff and use that to subsidize the losses on other stuff,” he said.

Read the Boston Magazine article: The Great Suburban Healthcare Hunt