- Massachusetts’ regulators tentatively approved three proposals aimed at consolidating healthcare resources in just a few major hospitals systems in the state, the Boston Business Journal reports.
- Under the plans, MetroWest Medical Center and New England Baptist Hospital would join the contracting group of Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization. MetroWest’s clinical services would also be affiliated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
- The Health Policy Commission indicated their approval after deliberating on them this week.
The clinical affiliation would route MetroWest’s sickest patients to Beth Israel instead of Tufts and put Beth Israel physicians in MetroWest’s hospitals.
The commission’s nod comes as federal and state regulators are challenging a number of large healthcare mergers and acquisitions on grounds that they will harm competition and drive up prices.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice filed lawsuits to block the pending Humana/Aetna and Anthem/Cigna megamergers.
In a preliminary report, the commission said the proposals offer a net benefit for the state’s healthcare market. A formal vote on the plans is set for next month.
Last year, the commission shot down a plan by PartnersHealthCare to buy two community hospitals, on grounds it would make the state’s largest health system even more powerful when negotiating prices with insurers.
This time around, the commission seems to feel the alliances between Beth Israel, MetroWest, and New England Baptist would bring needed competition against Partners, the Boston Business Journal reports.