Merger Takes Another Step to Fulfillment

The Massachusetts Public Health Council last week approved the proposed merger of bigthe Beth Israel Deaconess system, Lahey Health, three independent hospitals and a number of physician practices. This follows last month’s approval of the deal by the state Department of Public Health.

The proposal would create a new system consisting of the current Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Needham, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Plymouth, and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Milton, along with the Lahey-owned Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Beverly Hospital, and Winchester Hospital. Also included are the independent Anna Jaques Hospital, New England Baptist Hospital, and Mount Auburn Hospital. Under the proposed deal, the new system would control the following contracting entities: Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization (BIDCO), the Lahey Clinical Performance Network and Lahey Clinical Performance ACO. Mount Auburn Cambridge Independent Practice Association, which currently contracts independently, would be brought under the umbrella of the new system.

The Health Policy Commission is expected to issue its full cost and market impact review of the merger, exploring how the creation of the new entity will affect overall healthcare costs in the state, in July. If the HPC finds a transaction is detrimental to the state’s overall healthcare system, it can refer its report to the Attorney General’s office for further review.