A coalition of Massachusetts health care providers that compete with Partners HealthCare on Tuesday declared its opposition to a tentative pact allowing Partners to acquire at least three more hospitals, saying the expansion would have “profound and negative effects on the cost of health care” and possibly lead to the “extinction” of some hospitals.
Leaders of the group — including executives from Tufts Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Lahey Health, and Atrius Health — outlined their “grave concerns” about a deal struck between state Attorney General Martha Coakley and Partners, the state’s largest hospital and physicians network.
“This agreement does not address the issue of costs and the disparity in payments” between Partners hospitals — including Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s — and their rivals, said Tufts Medical Center president Michael Wagner.
The opposition, in the form of letters to Coakley and a top deputy, marks the first time the competitors have publicly challenged the agreement in principle between Partners and the attorney general’s office.
The agreement would let Partners complete takeovers of three hospitals, South Shore Hospital in Weymouth and two hospitals operated by Hallmark Health north of Boston, and add at least 550 doctors. It would also limit how much Partners can charge for medical services and restrict further growth for five to 10 years.
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