SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

July 1, 2014

Judge puts Partners settlement put on hold

BOSTON — A judge has opened a three-week comment period before ruling on a settlement between state Attorney General Martha Coakley and Partners HealthCare System that would allow Partners to acquire three more hospitals.

The Suffolk Superior Court judge on Monday delayed the resolution of a five-year investigation into the market power and contracting practices of the state's largest hospital and doctors' network.

The judge denied without prejudice a motion to intervene in the case by a coalition of hospitals and physicians groups that compete with Partners, which operates Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women's hospitals. The opponents say the deal is flawed and could drive up costs.

The Boston Globe reports the judge said members of the public, including representatives of Partners rivals, have until July 21 to submit comments on the settlement to Coakley's office. The judge gave the attorney general's office until Aug. 1 to respond to those comments. A new hearing was set for Aug. 5.

Under the settlement, struck in May after about six months of negotiations between Partners and Coakley's office, the Boston-based health care system will be allowed to acquire at least three more community hospitals but will be subject to price caps at the rate of inflation.

Andrea Agathoklis Murino, an attorney representing Partners' competitors, said the judge should not act "as a rubber stamp."

"The (settlement's) remedies are fundamentally flawed," Murino said. "The priority for us is to allow this court to hear our input, to make sure the court sees all the potential loopholes" in the pact.

At attorney for Partners says the deal imposes significant hurdles.

Coakley has said the settlement would put strong restraints on Partners' ability to raise prices.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Business

AP Video
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best AP Review: Amazon Fire Adds Spark to Smartphones All Aboard! LIRR Strike Averted Microsoft to Cut Up to 18,000 Jobs Time Warner Rejects Murdoch's Takeover Bid Yellen Says Economy Still Needs Fed Support Cleveland Expects Economic Boom From Lebron Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Downside of Low Mortgage Rates? Less Selling Cupcake Shop Crumbs Shuttering All Its Stores San Francisco Prepares for Soda Battle Dow Breaks Record 17,000 GM Crash Compensation Could Top $1 Billion GM Won't Limit Crash Compensation Funds
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years
Comments Trcker