With the region’s hospital industry already in flux, merger talks between Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and two other major health care organizations have collapsed, adding more uncertainty over the future shape of the marketplace.
The potential alliance of Beth Israel, Lahey Health, and the Atrius Health consortium of doctors groups was considered a key part of a regionwide move toward consolidation into a few dominant health care systems. But the negotiations stumbled over issues such as who would lead the new organization and serve on its board of directors, according to people with knowledge of the discussions. The parties declined to comment.
For months, it appeared that three major players were emerging on the Eastern Massachusetts health care scene: Partners HealthCare System, Steward Health Care System, and a combination of Beth Israel, Lahey, and Atrius. But the break down of the three-way negotiations, disclosed in e-mails to employees Friday, changes the script.
Other moves in the market are also becoming more complicated. Expansion plans by Partners’ HealthCare System have run into a roadblock, while expectations that Steward Health Care System would soon be bought by a national company are being dashed by the company’s chief executive.
“There’s a freneticism in the market,” said Ellen Lutch Bender, president of health care consulting firm Bender Strategies in Newton. “But the market hasn’t totally defined itself. The pursuit of opportunities doesn’t necessarily equate to the closure of deals.”
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