Case Study
December 11, 2018

Overcoming Obstacles

The proposed merger of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Lahey Health System, New England Baptist Hospital, Mount Auburn Hospital, and Anna Jaques Hospital had the potential to transform healthcare throughout the greater Boston area. When it became the subject of intense regulatory scrutiny, the hospital groups and other parties to the merger turned to Goodwin’s Antitrust and Competition practice to handle the exhaustive federal and state investigations.


 Leery of how the proposed merger of these many entities might impact healthcare costs for patients, state and federal regulators embarked on an exhaustive investigation requiring the production of millions of documents, terabytes of data, and the testimony of countless executives. Officials for the groups knew they would need to make a solid showing that this transaction, while large in scope, would result in continued access to high-quality healthcare without raising prices. 


 The antitrust authorities have a long history of taking aggressive positions against health care transactions and this case was no different. Goodwin, as the lone antitrust counsel, represented all the parties in all aspects of advocacy before the federal and state antitrust authorities, including responding to Second Requests and Civil Investigative Demands, defending dozens of depositions and interviews of hospital executives and third-party consultants, and providing written and oral advocacy to demonstrate the procompetitive effects.


 The Boston Globe described the combination as “the most significant health care deal in Massachusetts” in decades. On Nov. 29, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced a resolution that would lead to the formation of the Beth Israel Lahey Health system (BILH). The BILH entities agreed to observe a range of conditions that still assure the new system will be of unprecedented value to consumers in the greater Boston area. The same day, the Federal Trade Commission voted 5-0 to clear the transaction without condition.