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Northampton hospital deal won’t get further review

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The state’s new Health Policy Commission has decided not to launch a cost-and-market impact review of Partners HealthCare System’s agreement to acquire Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, a move that will allow the parties to close on their merger.

On Friday, the commission said conditions imposed on Partners and Cooley Dickinson by the attorney general’s office “change the nature of the transaction and contributed to the Health Policy Commission’s decision” not to conduct a review. One mandate from the attorney general was that the organizations negotiate separate contracts for five years with the health insurers that reimburse them. The commission said the parties will have to file a notice in five years, triggering a possible review, if they decide to negotiate jointly with payers then.

When the takeover of 140-bed Cooley Dickinson is completed, it will be the first hospital acquisition for Boston-based Partners, the state’s largest hospital and physicians organization, since it absorbed Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and Nantucket Cottage Hospital in 2006. Cooley Dickinson will become part of Partners-owned Massachusetts General Hospital.

Robert Weisman can be reached at weisman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeRobW.
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