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Hallmark Health System to join Wellforce Jan. 1

The board of Hallmark Health System in Medford, Mass., unanimously voted Thursday to join Burlington, Mass.-based Wellforce as the system's third member, effective Jan. 1, 2017.

Wellforce is the parent to Tufts Medical Center in Boston and Lowell (Mass.) General Hospital. The system formed in 2014 and recently recorded revenue of $1.4 billion.

Hallmark revealed plans to merge with Wellforce roughly six months ago. The system was previously operating under a plan to be acquired by Boston-based Partners HealthCare, but talks came to an end in December 2015 in face of opposition from state officials and antitrust experts. 

As a result of the new affiliation, Hallmark is expected to refer more patients to Tufts instead of Partners' Massachusetts General Hospital for specialty care, according to the Boston Globe. Hallmark's 400-plus physicians in the system's physician-hospital organization will join the New England Quality Care Alliance, which is Tufts' network of community physicians and also part of Wellforce. 

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