AG Objects To Merger of Granite One and Dartmouth Health, Plans Scrapped

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The dome at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon.

CONCORD – Attorney General John Formella released the report of the Charitable Trusts Unit Friday objecting to the proposed merger between GraniteOne Health and Dartmouth Health.

See report here:

“Free, fair and robust competition is critical to providing employers and patients with options for lower cost and high-quality health care services,” said Formella. “Our state has experienced significant consolidation in health care over the past several years, and this transaction seeking to combine two of our top four largest systems is unacceptable without appropriate protections for consumers in place.”  

The release said the attorney general proposed remedies that are consistent with remedies used in similar transactions around the country.

“New Hampshire consumers already pay exceptionally high prices for health care,” Formella said. “Our duty is to protect the public and we will use all enforcement tools available to us to do so.

“The proposal as currently structured would have consolidated two competing health care systems with many hospitals, physician practices and outpatient services, resulting in a single system ultimately to be controlled by Dartmouth Health.

 After a fact intensive review by the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau, the Attorney General has concluded that the completion of this proposed transaction would violate the law.

Specifically, the transaction, as proposed, would end the existing competition between the two systems that consumers rely on in several health care markets served by both GraniteOne and Dartmouth Health today and, therefore, would violate state and federal law without sufficient remedies to address the anticompetitive harm.”

Joanne M. Conroy, MD, CEO and President of Dartmouth Health, said after Formella’s press release:

Today, after considerable deliberation, and in light of the Attorney General’s report this afternoon, the leadership of Dartmouth Health and GraniteOne Health made the difficult decision to end our pursuit of a formal combination of our health systems.

“During the 2-3 years of review by state and federal officials, the dynamics of the healthcare landscape in New Hampshire – and beyond – have continued to change dramatically. Despite the unforeseen challenges of the pandemic, Dartmouth Health and GraniteOne remained committed and focused on how we would deliver the benefits and promises of the combination for our patients and communities. But it has become clear to us that those benefits and promises that we envisioned several years ago are no longer practical and realistic in the current environment,” Conroy said.

Lauren Collins-Cline, spokesman for GraniteOne, said: “This outcome is disappointing for GraniteOne Health and its members—CMC, Huggins Hospital, and Monadnock Community Hospital.  It’s also disappointing for the patients and communities of New Hampshire.  Based on the public forums we held last fall, it was clear how much the community supports our organizations and recognized the benefits this combination would have provided.”

“CMC is and remains an incredibly strong organization dedicated to our mission and supported by our community and our patients.  Our unparalleled team looks forward to building a bright future for health care in southern New Hampshire,” Collins-Cline said.

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