Friday, June 27, 2014

It is useful to compare actions to words.  From the State House News, about the Attorney General's recently filed deal with Partners Healthcare:

The same day the deal was filed in court, Deputy Attorney General Chris Barry-Smith sent a copy to legal officials at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Lahey Health System, Atrius Health and Tufts. “As you should be aware, this investigation and its ultimate resolution are litigation and law enforcement actions,” he wrote. “Bringing an anti-trust lawsuit or resolving it by consent judgment is, of course, a judicial process before the courts.” Barry-Smith noted his office asked for a court hearing at a later date, instead of immediately, and had publicly offered details on the agreement when it was tentative. “Ultimately, the decision on whether third parties, including competing providers, should be heard is up to the Superior Court,” he wrote. Barry-Smith added that his office intends to brief the Health Policy Commission upon approval of the deal.

Well, no.  She did not "publicly offer details on the agreement when it was tentative."  They kept saying it wasn't done yet. Commonhealth reported on June 12:

Coakley has said that the details would be available when the agreement is filed in court.

And, how about passing the buck to the Court's discretion to allow or not allow comments?  She could have delayed that slightly and allowed comments before it was submitted to the Court.

And, they intend to brief the HPC upon approval of the deal?  How about before approval? As Commonhealth reported:

The Rev. Burns Stanfield, president of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, says the group is disappointed the agreement bypassed the state’s Health Policy Commission.

“A proper review would need to have the agreement available before it is submitted to the judge, and for the Health Policy Commission to be invited to weigh in,” he said.


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