Partners HealthCare Drops Bid to acquire South Shore Hospital

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Partners HealthCare is withdrawing its bid to acquire South Shore Hospital, state Attorney General Maura Healey’s office announced Tuesday.

The move comes less than a month after a judge rejected a deal Partners had struck with former Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office that would have allowed Partners to acquire South Shore and two other local hospitals in exchange for some limits on price and staff increases.

In a statement Healey’s office said the state would continue to evaluate Partners’ bid to acquire Hallmark Health Corp.’s Lawrence Memorial and Melrose-Wakefield hospitals “if and when Partners and Hallmark complete pending federal regulatory obligations.”

“We appreciate the thoughtful process that Partners engaged in while making this important decision, and believe it is the right choice for Partners and the Commonwealth,” Healey, who opposed the deal Partners had reached with Coakley, said in the statement. “We are thankful for the valuable input that was provided by the health care community throughout this process to help reach this result.”

In rejecting the deal last month, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders said it was not in the public interest and that it would be too difficult to enforce.

“[Allowing Partners to expand] would cement Partners’ already strong position in the health care market and give it the ability, because of this market muscle, to exact higher prices,” Sanders wrote.

Partners’ newly named CEO, Dr. David Torchiana, told WBUR earlier this month that the court’s rejection of the deal was clear.

“We’re obviously chastened by the verdict,” Torchiana said. “There wasn’t any ambiguity to the message that we got back.”

He also said that the hospital network would look for expansions opportunities worldwide.

“A real important part of our strategy if we’re restricted in the local market is we have to look regionally, nationally and internationally,” Torchiana said. “So I’d say look at the globe and spin it around and we’re going to look everywhere.”


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