Unhealthy system

Is medical giant Partners HealthCare good for Massachusetts? The Boston Globe Spotlight team investigates.

Part 1

A healthcare system badly out of balance

Elite hospitals are paid much more for care that is often no better than average. It is the best kept secret in Massachusetts medicine.


Confronting the power of Partners

At Caritas Norwood Hospital, doctors and nurses are worried that Partners new outpatient clinic in Foxborough will drain business from them, further imperiling the economic health of a hospital that already is nearly $4 million in debt.

Part 2

Fueled by profits, a healthcare giant takes aim at suburbs

Partners HealthCare’s push has community hospitals running scared, and crying foul.

Part 3

A handshake that made healthcare history

Partners HealthCare was born in 1993, but its powerhouse potential didn’t fully hit home until 2000. That’s when the emerging giant cut a quiet deal with Blue Cross to ratchet up insurance costs across the state. Nothing in Massachusetts healthcare has been the same since.

SPOTLIGHT FOLLOW-UP | unhealthy system

State panel to examine payments to Partners

Governor Deval Patrick will convene a panel of top state officials Monday to look into whether a recently disclosed, eight-year-old agreement between Partners HealthCare System Inc. and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts drove up healthcare costs, making it harder to extend healthcare insurance to all residents.

SPOTLIGHT FOLLOW-UP | unhealthy system

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2012/05/28/BostonGlobe.com/Special/Images/47335502H7048523-048--90x90.JPG Patrick intensifies state’s push to curb soaring health premiums

Governor Deval Patrick accelerated his administration's efforts to control spiraling statewide healthcare costs, warning that rising premiums threaten to crush families and businesses.

SPOTLIGHT FOLLOW-UP | unhealthy system

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2012/05/03/BostonGlobe.com/Special/Images/47023461H7122079.JPG Partners, insurer under scrutiny

Attorney General Martha Coakley launched an investigation into whether the state's largest health insurance company and its largest healthcare provider may have illegally colluded to increase the price of health insurance statewide over the last nine years.