AG Healey Files Concerns Over Partners Agreement
Would Litigate to Block Merger with South Shore Hospital if Court Rejects Agreement; Cites Concerns Raised by Insurers, Providers and Other Public Comments
BOSTON –Attorney General Maura Healey today expressed concerns over the agreement that would allow Partners HealthCare to merge with South Shore Hospital. As part of a filing in Suffolk Superior Court, AG Healey told the Court that she is prepared to fight to block the merger if the court rejects the agreement.
“One of the greatest challenges for our Commonwealth is controlling health costs while promoting quality and access, and I evaluated this issue with that goal in mind,” said AG Healey. “Should the Court decline to enter the settlement, my office will exercise its right to void the agreement with Partners. I anticipate we then would litigate to enjoin Partners’ proposed acquisition of South Shore Hospital.”
In a prior court hearing, the Court asked for the opinion of AG-Elect Healey on the proposed agreement. Having taken office, AG Healey submitted the notice of position to the Court.
As part of today’s notice, the Attorney General explained that she greatly respects the work the office did in arriving at the agreement with Partners HealthCare. She noted, however, that the Court has been presented with additional information including the input of dozens of insurers, providers, the Health Policy Commission, and many other stakeholders that have weighed in with comments to the Court, expressing concerns about the agreement’s ability to control costs over time.
In her notice filed today , AG Healey expressed her own concerns about the efficacy of parts of the consent judgment, including its duration and the insurers’ position on component contracting.
AG Healey made clear to the Court that if the agreement is approved, her office would vigorously enforce it. If rejected, however, AG Healey would move to litigate and attempt to block the merger in court.