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Tufts Medical Center to join with Lowell General Hospital to form new health care system

From left, Michael Wagner, chief executive of Tufts Medical Center, Normand E. Deschene, chief at Lowell General, and  Ellen M.  Zane, Tufts vice chairwoman.
From left, Michael Wagner, chief executive of Tufts Medical Center, Normand E. Deschene, chief at Lowell General, and Ellen M. Zane, Tufts vice chairwoman.Joanne Rathe/Globe Staff

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Tufts Medical Center and Lowell General Hospital are joining forces to form a new health care system they say will offer lower-cost medical services from southern New Hampshire to south of Boston at a time of changes sweeping through the industry.

The alliance would link a 415-bed Boston teaching hospital that has been scrambling for a niche in the fast-consolidating market with one of the state’s largest community hospitals. Lowell General, which took over crosstown rival Saints Memorial Medical Center two years ago, has 434 beds on two campuses.

Under the terms of a tentative agreement approved by both boards, each nonprofit hospital would to continue to operate independently under a new parent organization, which has yet to be named.

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