Partners Healthcare’s Settlement with Massachusetts Attorney General Put on Hold

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On July 1, 2014, Massachusetts Suffolk Superior Court Judge Janet L. Sanders ruled that the tentative settlement reached between the state of Massachusetts and Partners Healthcare System (“Partners”) would be delayed. The judge’s ruling subjects the settlement to a public comment period of three weeks, with responses from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office due by August 1, and a hearing before the court on August 5, prior to the settlement’s being finalized by the court.

The settlement, reached between the state of Massachusetts and Partners in June, would allow Partners to complete its acquisition of South Shore Hospital (“South Shore”), subject to a number of price restrictions, as well as caps on Partners’ growth. Interestingly, the settlement does not allow Partners to complete its acquisition of Hallmark Health Corp. (“Hallmark”), as that acquisition is still under review by the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission. That said, Hallmark is a party to the settlement, and the settlement contains a number of provisions that address competitive concerns associated with Partners’ acquisition of Hallmark.

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