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New Hampshire attorney general opposes Dartmouth, GraniteOne merger

New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella released a report May 13 from the Charitable Trusts Unit objecting to the proposed merger between Lebanon, N.H.-based Dartmouth Health and Manchester, N.H.-based GraniteOne Health.

The proposed merger would consolidate the two competitors and make them into a single system controlled by Dartmouth, according to a news release from the attorney general's office.

The deal also would end the competition between the two systems and increase healthcare costs, the release said. The attorney general proposed "remedies" to the deal, but an agreement has not been reached.

"New Hampshire consumers already pay exceptionally high prices for healthcare," Mr. Formella said in the release. "Our duty is to protect the public and we will use all enforcement tools available to us to do so. Considerable diligence was put forth to reach common ground with both healthcare systems. Without remedies in place protecting the public from harm and ensuring the combined system delivers on the promised benefits, the transaction as proposed is not something that I can approve."

A spokesperson for GraniteOne said in a statement shared with Becker's on May 13 that the proposed deal was supported by community members.

"This outcome is disappointing for GraniteOne Health and its members — [Catholic Medical Center], Huggins Hospital and Monadnock Community Hospital," the spokesperson said. "It's also disappointing for the patients and communities of New Hampshire. Based on the public forums we held last fall, it was clear how much the community supports our organizations and recognized the benefits this combination would have provided."

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