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US: AG concerned about hospital merger

 |  July 12, 2018

In a letter to the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission, state Attorney General (AG) Maura Healey voiced concerns about the proposed merger between Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Burlington, Massachusetts-based Lahey Health and three other healthcare organizations, according to a report from The Boston Globe.

Ms. Healey wrote in her letter that the merger, which would create the second largest health system by revenue in Massachusetts after Boston-based Partners HealthCare, could cause healthcare costs to increase, limit access to care and destabilize independent hospitals, according to the report.

The Commission is responsible for producing an analysis of how the deal will affect costs, quality and access, but it does not have power to block the merger. Ms. Healey does have the authority to do so, however. Her concerns are the first from a state official. The merger was approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in March and the Public Health Council in April. The deal is still pending approval from Ms. Healey and the federal government, according to The Boston Globe.

The AG’s office told The Boston Globe it plans to discuss the deal with executives from Beth Israel Deaconess and Lahey Health. The report suggests Ms. Healey’s office could seek to limit the merger or add other parameters related to pricing or patient mix to help address her concerns.

Full Content: Boston Globe

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