Massachusetts judge skeptical of deal that would allow Partners to merge with other hospitals

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BOSTON — The planned takeover of three suburban hospitals by Partners Healthcare has been further delayed by a judge who raised serious concerns about the deal.

Partners, the state's biggest health care system, has been trying for three years to merge with South Shore Hospital in Weymouth and take over hospitals in Medford and Melrose.

Attorney General Martha Coakley brokered a deal that would allow Partners to expand, while setting price caps and other limits to protect consumers.

The Boston Globe (http://bit.ly/1pDDUwK ) reports that Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders said at a hearing Monday she has "substantial concerns," particularly when it comes to health care costs for Massachusetts residents.

She scheduled a hearing for Nov. 10.

Critics of the deal say it gives Partners too much control over the market and would boost costs.


Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.bostonglobe.com

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