Public Health Council approves Mass. General acquisition of Cooley Dickinson Hospital

The state Public Health Council granted a license Wednesday that will let Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston acquire the 140-bed Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton.

It was the second time in the past month the Public Health Council approved a transfer of ownership in the state’s rapidly consolidating hospital industry. In April, the council granted a “determination of need” certificate allowing Mass. General’s parent organization, Partners HealthCare System, to take over South Shore Hospital in Weymouth.

In both cases, votes by the public health council—which does not consider the impact a takeover might have on costs and competition—represent just one step in a longer regulatory process. The proposed ownership transfers require further review by the US Department of Justice, the state attorney general’s office, and the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission before they can take effect.

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