CAMBRIDGE, Mass.— The Cambridge Health Alliance and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston agreed to form a clinical and academic affiliation. Cambridge Health Alliance, operated by a public authority established by the state Legislature in 1996, is composed of Cambridge Hospital and hospital campuses in Somerville and Everett, as well as the Cambridge Public Health Department. The tighter integration comes ahead of the Cambridge Health Alliance’s plans to join the Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization in 2014. The accountable care organization, formed with Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians, is participating in the CMS’ Pioneer ACO model. The new affiliation with Beth Israel Deaconess will not affect the public system’s ownership or governance. Under the agreement, pending review by the state Health Policy Commission, the two organizations will work together on physician recruitment and quality improvement initiatives, according to a filing with state regulators. Beth Israel Deaconess will be a preferred provider for tertiary and quaternary care for patients referred by the Cambridge Health Alliance, and the organizations have established access to each other’s electronic health records. “This is an important component of our transformation into a highperforming, high-value health system that can better adapt to a rapidly changing marketplace with new payment models that aim to improve population health,” Cambridge Health Alliance CEO Patrick Wardell said in a news release.