State will review Lahey, Winchester deal

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The state Health Policy Commission, which is charged with monitoring cost and competition trends in Massachusetts health care, Friday said will move forward with a cost and market impact study of Lahey Health System’s plan to acquire Winchester Hospital.

After an initial staff review, the commission concluded that the merger “raises the potential for Lahey to leverage higher prices through joint (insurance) contracting with Winchester” in the health care market north of Boston, according to a statement from commission executive director David Seltz.

The statement said the North Shore market has grown more concentrated in recent years and Burlington-based Lahey’s proposed takeover of Winchester Hospital could continue that trend.

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