HPC Casts Cold Eye, Preliminarily, on Partners-MEEI Merger

The Health Policy Commission’s (HPC’s) preliminary Cost and Market Impact Review (CMIR), on the merger between Partners HealthCare and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and its Massachusetts Eye and Ear Associates physician organization was released last Wednesday, with the HPC finding that Partner’s acquisition of MEEI “may warrant further review and referral to the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office.”

The HPC assumed that if Partners acquires MEEI it will raise the prices that the hospital and its physician organization charge, and therefore raise overall healthcare costs. Partners has argued that the merger will lead to operational efficiencies.

The HPC said that since DPH is assessing the merger under its Determination of Need guidelines, the HPC may submit its finding to DPH. It also said it will issue a final report after it receives written comments.

Partners spokesperson Rich Copp said, “We will review the details contained within the HPC’s preliminary report and work with them to address any concerns they have.  This partnership will greatly strengthen the clinical and scientific relationships between our organizations and will help make Mass. Eye and Ear services and research accessible to a broader population of patients, further improving the quality of life for thousands of individuals and families in Massachusetts.”