Boston-area hospitals finalize massive health merger plan

BOSTON (AP) – The Beth Israel Deaconess health system says it has signed a deal to merge with Lahey Health and three other hospitals in the biggest Massachusetts hospital deal in decades.

The proposed merger, which was finalized Thursday, will still be subject to regulatory reviews. Beth Israel Deaconess of Boston and Burlington-based Lahey announced the initial merger plans in January, later signing on three other hospitals in eastern Massachusetts.

The hospitals are seeking to create a large, lower-cost health network that can compete with Partners HealthCare, the parent company of Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s hospitals.

Beth Israel Deaconess and Lahey have engaged in merger talks in the past, only to see them fall apart. This time, the organizations said, they are ready to move forward.

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