Steward closer to taking over two more hospitals

State approves license transfer

The state Public Health Council today approved the transfer of licenses for Morton Hospital in Taunton and Quincy Medical Center to Steward Health Care System, the Boston-based community hospital group formed by the buyer of Caritas Christi Health Care.

Earlier this month, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley signed off on the acquisition of Morton and Quincy Medical by Steward, a for-profit network owned by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management of New York.

With the so-called “determination of need’’ approval from the public health council, part of the state Department of Public Health, Steward moves closer to completing its takeover of the two hospitals, which would boost its chain to 10 hospitals in eastern Massachusetts.

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The deals still require approval from the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts and the US Bankruptcy Court, where the Quincy hospital has filed for reorganization.

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