A coalition of Massachusetts health systems and physician groups is challenging an agreement that would allow the state's largest healthcare organization, Boston-based Partners HealthCare, to get even bigger.
The coalition—which includes Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Tufts Medical Center, Cambridge Health Alliance, Lahey Health in Burlington, Atrius Health in Newton and several other community hospitals and physician groups—sent letters to the state attorney general's office asking that state stakeholders have a say in Partners' new acquisitions.
Under a proposed deal struck in May between Partners and the state attorney general's office, the 12-hospital Partners system would acquire Hallmark Health System in Melrose, Mass., and South Shore Hospital in South Weymouth, Mass., but with several stipulations. For example, Partners would not be able to raise prices systemwide more than the general inflation rate, which has hovered between 1% and 2%.
The coalition wrote that Partners' continued expansion has “significant and deleterious impacts on the entire Massachusetts marketplace.” For instance, the group said the price cap regulation would have little effect, because Partners already commands some of the highest prices in the state.
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