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Children’s Hospital to boost affiliations with Lahey, BMC

Children’s Hospital and Burlington-based Lahey said they plan to sign an agreement that would make Children’s the preferred provider for Lahey’s pediatric patients.
Children’s Hospital and Burlington-based Lahey said they plan to sign an agreement that would make Children’s the preferred provider for Lahey’s pediatric patients.(Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)

Boston Children’s Hospital, the largest pediatric hospital in Massachusetts, wants to strengthen clinical affiliations with two other organizations, Boston Medical Center and Lahey Health.

Children’s Hospital and Burlington-based Lahey said they plan to sign an agreement that would make Children’s the preferred provider for Lahey’s pediatric patients. They also plan to develop clinical programs together, according to recent fillings with the state Health Policy Commission.

“This agreement seeks to establish a clinical collaboration to ensure Lahey has a relationship with a pediatric provider for patients requiring highly complex care,” said Children’s Hospital spokeswoman Kristen Dattoli.

“The goal is to develop programs and other joint initiatives that will improve outcomes and ultimately reduce the cost of providing care to these patients.”

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A Lahey spokesman said the move builds on existing affiliations that Lahey-owned hospitals in Beverly and Winchester already have with Children’s.

Children’s also has affiliations with Boston Medical Center, the state’s largest safety net hospital. But Children’s and BMC said they now want to streamline those agreements into one contract. “The parties do not expect any change to reimbursement rates, referral patterns, access, or quality,” the hospitals said in state filings.

The filings were first reported by the Boston Business Journal.

Large health care organizations that pursue mergers, acquisitions, or partnerships must file their plans with the Health Policy Commission. The state agency monitors how such transactions will affect health care costs for consumers.

The agency cannot block deals, but it can refer them to the attorney general for further review.

Last year, the Health Policy Commission issued sharp criticism of mergers proposed by Partners HealthCare, but approved Lahey’s acquisition of Winchester Hospital.


Priyanka Dayal McCluskey can be reached at priyanka.mccluskey @globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @priyanka_dayal.