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Mass. General Brigham nixes suburban expansion plan

The decision follows word that the Department of Public Health wouldn’t endorse the projects.

Lane Turner/Globe Staff
The corporate offices of Massachusetts General Brigham hospitals in Assembly Square in Somerville.

Mass. General Brigham said Friday it’s pulling a proposal to build two new outpatient surgical centers outside Boston, and expand a third, reportedly due to a lack of support from the Department of Public Health. 

MGB was planning to build outpatient care centers in Woburn and Westborough and expand a center in Westwood. The decision to withdraw those plans followed word that the DPH wouldn’t endorse the projects to the Public Health Council, The Boston Globe reported.

“We look forward to engaging with the Public Health Council and hope to receive their final approval of our plans to increase access to our world-renowned Boston teaching hospitals for patients who need the high-quality care they provide,” said MGB President and CEO Dr. Anne Klibanski in a statement to media.

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The three suburban projects came with an overall price tag of $223 million, and drew opposition from insurers, consumer advocates, and healthcare competitors who said the facilities would lead to greater healthcare costs.

But MGB’s position has been that the projects would help lower the cost of healthcare for patients who had to travel into Boston and relieve capacity challenges.

A DPH spokesperson declined to comment on the department’s position on the matter, according to the Globe.

But the DPH is supporting two other extensive MGB projects in Boston — one is a $1.9 billion expansion at Mass. General, and the other a $150 million revamp of Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital.

The Mass. General expansion will feature two new towers on Cambridge Street that will offer nearly 500 private rooms for severely ill cancer and cardiac patients. The Faulkner renovation will add nearly 90 new beds and expand endoscopy services.

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