What the sudden closure of Compass Medical means for patients — and the Mass. health care sector

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We’ll get some relief from this heat tomorrow, as the weekend kicks off a lengthy cool stretch of 60-degree weather. But first, much of Massachusetts will have to contend today with highs in the 90s.

Remember these tips for staying cool. Now, to the news:

Without a Compass: Thousands of local patients are scrambling for a new doctor’s office, following the sudden closure of Compass Medical. The Quincy-based practice announced Wednesday it was immediately closing all six of its Massachusetts offices. “We are heartbroken and truly sorry as we know the unprecedented impact on our valued patients,” the 450-person company said in a statement.

  • Why? The statement cited a “steady stream of challenges,” but did not get into specifics. WCVB reports Compass still owes over $16 million in damages to Steward Health Care System after a partnership between the two companies went sour. In addition to the financial hit, Boston-based health care consultant David Williams told WBUR’s Fausto Menard that the legal battle and court order took a toll on Compass’s reputation. “People don’t want to do business with an entity like that,” he said.
  • What it means for patients: A Compass spokesperson said they’re working on a plan to “ensure the continuity” of patients’ care and that “most” of their doctors will keep working in their local communities as part of other practices. Compass also made a form available so patients could request their medical records.
  • Big picture: The health care sector at large has been struggling with rising costs and staff shortages in the wake of the COVID pandemic. The Compass news came shortly after Cambridge Health Alliance announced a round of layoffs Wednesday. Williams said problems may first become apparent with smaller players like Compass and CHC, but that it still puts further strain on the rest of the system.

Also closing: Wegmans announced yesterday it’s shutting down its grocery store at the Natick Mall later this summer (exact date TBD). The Natick location is one of the largest Wegmans in the country, as well as the chain’s first multi-level store within a major mall. However, the “non-traditional location” was “unable to attract enough customers for our business model to work,” the company said.

Unfinished work: Shuttle buses will replace all Green Line service north of Government Center this weekend. That means no trolley service on the entirety of the newly opened Green Line Extension, plus Science Park, North Station and Haymarket stations.

  • The reason: T officials say crews still need to finish some track and drainage work on the GLX project (not to mention the bike path). As riders have likely noticed, there’s still a 1,500-foot-long slow zone on the Green Line viaduct across the Charles River.
  • What’s next: An identical Green Line diversion will take place next weekend (June 10-11) and MBTA officials have said additional Green Line service disruptions “may take place later in June.
  • The long-term outlook: MBTA leaders said during a forum yesterday that the improvements in service will be gradual, according to reporting from WBUR’s Andrea Perdomo Hernandez. “I think people will see a different T a year from now, but I don’t know if they’ll see a different T in two months,” said new T board chair Thomas Glynn.

The crack of the bat, the… dink of the paddle? Love it or hate it, pickleball is coming to Fenway Park next month. Twelve courts will be set up in the outfield from July 13-16 to host a professional pickleball tournament. Not only can you go watch, you can compete, too (for a price). Here’s how:

  • Option 1: In addition to the pros, Fenway will host an amateur tournament featuring randomly selected entrants. You can register for free here, but if you get picked you have to pay a $150 entry fee. (The registration deadline is Wednesday, June 7.)
  • Option 2: Pay big bucks to rent a court. Eighty-minute court reservations for up to 10 people are available for $1,500. (Editor’s note: OK, who wants to pitch in?)

Important PSA: Today is National Donut Day. Here’s a guide to getting free (or free-ish) donuts at major chains, like Dunkin’.

P.S.— What industry is growing so quickly in Massachusetts that there’s not enough workers to fill positions? Take our Boston News Quiz and test your knowledge of the local stories we covered this week.


Nik DeCosta-Klipa Newsletter Editor
Nik DeCosta-Klipa is the newsletter editor for WBUR.



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