Massachusetts AG backs bill toughening hospital merger oversight

Massachusetts' Health Policy Commission — an independent state agency responsible for reducing healthcare cost growth while improving care quality — would get more power under legislation unveiled by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy and House Majority Leader Ron Mariano (D-Quincy), according to a MassLive report.

The HPC is responsible for analyzing the effects of hospital mergers in the state. Under the legislation, the report the commission produces regarding a merger would be accepted as true unless an opposing party can disprove it when the attorney general goes to court to block the merger using the state's consumer protection statute.

"This bill gives more teeth to any referral from the Health Policy Commission to the attorney general's office," Attorney General Healy said, according to the report.

The Massachusetts Hospital Association hasn't taken a stance on the legislation. Lynn Nicholas, the president and CEO of the association, released a statement to the Boston Herald stating the group wants to "take the time to understand the implications of the bill's provisions and discuss those implications with our membership."

More articles on healthcare industry mergers:

Meridian Health, Raritan Bay finalize merger
10 recent hospital partnerships and transactions
2 Ohio systems back out of merger talks

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