Tufts Health Freedom Plan, Granite Health leaders: Why we teamed up for Tufts Health Freedom Plan in New Hampshire

Last year, Granite Health, a joint venture of five New Hampshire health systems, and Watertown, Mass.-based Tufts Health Plan teamed up to form a new health insurance company headquartered in New Hampshire called Tufts Health Freedom Plan.

With only a few carriers offering health insurance in our state, this is great news for New Hampshire families and businesses looking for more competition in health insurance options.

Tufts Health Freedom Plan offers an innovative approach to care that makes sense. The announcement was widely covered, but it may still be unclear what our new partnership means.

First, Tufts Health Freedom Plan is founded in New Hampshire and jointly owned by Tufts Health Plan and the New Hampshire providers that make up Concord-based Granite Health. This arrangement is unique to New Hampshire and benefits individuals and businesses who are seeking an insurance product that provides greater coordination of their care. Built on New Hampshire's greatest strength of coming together to create innovative solutions, we have combined the clinical expertise from five of the premier value-based health care systems in the state with administrative efficiencies and product development expertise from one of the top-ranked health plans in the country. We recognize it is local providers that understand the needs of New Hampshire families and are best equipped to determine the most effective way to address healthcare needs in our communities.

Second, Tufts Health Freedom Plan is structurally woven at the center by Granite Health. Catholic Medical Center, Concord Hospital, LRGHealthcare, Southern New Hampshire Health and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital bring deep clinical expertise to the company and serve over a third of the state's population with physicians representing over 70 specialties. In addition to our shared expertise, Tufts Health Freedom Plan has contracted with all 26 New Hampshire Hospitals to offer a statewide network to its members and access to a broad Massachusetts network, including Partners HealthCare.

By working together, Granite Health member health systems are able to elevate care to the highest standards. Just recently, over 75 clinicians from around New Hampshire discussed how physicians, nurses, pharmacists and social workers can work together to achieve better outcomes, lower mortality rates and shorter hospital stays. Furthermore, by adopting a shared data driven population health management program that establishes common standards and best practices across our network, Granite Health has been able to improve the health of our communities, outperforming national and regional benchmarks for many process and outcome measures.

Finally, Granite Health has teamed up with one of the top-ranked health insurance companies in the country, Tufts Health Plan, which brings paramount experience in administrative efficiencies and product development, ultimately helping to better serve New Hampshire communities. Likewise, by partnering to form Tufts Health Freedom Plan, we are able to offer an array of wellness-focused health plans which provide members with the resources they need to be healthy. All this subsequently creates better quality of care, greater access to providers, and an opportunity for us to do more for you.

Tufts Health Freedom Plan differs from anything previously offered in New Hampshire because your provider and insurer now have a unique relationship to better serve you. Quality care is not simply rhetorical jargon for us, it is the cornerstone of our partnership. We formed this team because as health care continues to evolve, together we can achieve more for our members and patients than any one of us could achieve individually.

Brian Wells is from Concord, N.H., and is the president of Tufts Health Freedom Plan.

Rachel Rowe is the president and CEO of Granite Health, which includes Catholic Medical Center, Concord Hospital, LRGHealthcare, Southern New Hampshire Health and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital.

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