Cooley Dickinson, Mass General Merger Approved by State Board

The Massachusetts public health council signed off on a proposed merger today between Northampton’s Cooley Dickinson Hospital and Boston’s Mass General Hospital. But the deal still needs approval from several state and federal entities before it can be finalized. That includes the U.S. Department of Justice, the state Attorney General, and the newly created Massachusetts Health Policy Commission. Cooley Dickinson President Craig Melin  says he’d like to see approval by the end of the year, but can’t predict how long the process will take. He says the department of justice and attorney general will review whether there are any antitrust issues if the two hospitals join forces.

“We don’t expect there will be any antitrust issues, but its up to them, not up to me. If it were up to me, I guess we’d be done.”

Melin says a merger would allow both hospitals to share patient information, and lower health care costs at Cooley Dickinson. A spokesperson with the attorney general’s office says a review of the merger is ongoing, but declined to say when it may be completed.