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Partners HealthCare Disputes State's Negative Assessment of South Shore Acquisition

Boston-based Partners HealthCare System has refuted a report from the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission saying the company's acquisition of South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, Mass., would increase healthcare costs, according to a Boston Globe report.

Partners plans to file a rebuttal today to a report from the commission, which estimated the transaction will increase the state's three largest health insurers' spending by $23 million to $26 million annually, according to the report. Partners claims the commission ignored savings from improving coordination and quality of care for privately insured patients and that the acquisition of South Shore and a related physicians' group would actually save approximately $27 million per year. The company also says the watchdog agency misinterpreted physician contracts with insurers.

The commission will vote Feb. 19 on a final report on the acquisition. Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office and the U.S. Department of Justice are also scrutinizing the proposed acquisition as part of a broader review because of alleged anticompetitive behavior.

Massachusetts' first annual healthcare report drew further attention to Partners last August. It found Partners received 31 percent of the money Massachusetts commercial payers spent on acute-care hospital services the previous year. Partners-affiliated physicians also received 25 percent of payers' physician reimbursements in 2011.

Partners responded to the report's findings, saying the system cares for about 1.5 million patients each year, reasoning the results.

More Articles on Partners HealthCare:
Partners, Hallmark Health Sign Affiliation Deal  
Partners HealthCare, South Shore Decision Could Change State Health Industry  
Partners HealthCare Receives 31% of Massachusetts Payers' Acute-Care Spending 

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