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Friday, November 2, 2007

Attorney General announces review of Caritas

By Chris Reidy, Globe Staff

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today that she will work with a consultant to conduct a review of the Caritas Christi Health Care System.

Caritas Christi is owned by the Archdiocese of Boston, which has been exploring a possible sale of the six-hospital system, the second largest in New England.

In the past year, the archdiocese attempted to transfer ownership of the Caritas Christi system and its $275 million in debt to two successful Catholic healthcare chains, but was unable to reach a deal with either system, the Globe has reported.

"With the recent termination of affiliation discussions with other systems, we believe it is now an appropriate time to conduct a more focused review of Caritas on a stand-alone basis," Coakley said in a statement today.

Coakley's office said it will partner with Health Strategies and Solutions, a healthcare consulting firm that has provided consulting services to the attorney general's office for the last three years, in conducting the review.

The attorney general's office is responsible for overseeing the public's interest in the viability of the commonwealth's nonprofit charitable hospitals.

Coakley's press release included a statement from John Chessare, president and chief executive of Caritas Christi.

"We work with the attorney general's office on a regular basis, and we look forward to continuing to work with them while providing exceptional healthcare," he said.

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