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Moving into uncharted territory Wednesday, the state’s new Health Policy Commission voted 10-0 to press forward with a full “cost and market impact” review of Partners HealthCare System’s agreement to acquire the 378-bed South Shore Hospital in Weymouth.
The review could pose a stumbling block to the first major hospital expansion bid in seven years by Boston-based Partners, the largest hospital and physicians group in Massachusetts, which seeks to take over one of the state’s last remaining independent hospitals.
But as the initial review launched by the commission, created by last year’s health cost containment law, it will also be a test of whether a new regulatory body that sees itself as a watchdog has teeth.