Tuesday, June 24, 2014

From the first paragraph in a report in the Boston Globe:

Partners HealthCare System has agreed to pay $3.3 million to cover the cost of the state’s five-year investigation into its market power, and for a court-appointed monitor to scrutinize its actions for the next decade.

How does that pittance even justify being put as the lede in the story? And why wasn't it put into some kind of financial context?  Like this:

According to its audited financial report, PHS' revenue in 2013 was $10 billion, producing revenues in excess of expenditures of $600 million.

So, the agreement produced a financial commitment of .01 percent of one year of the company's revenues, or .55% of one year's annual gain.

Meanwhile, the substance of the deal stays the same, according to the Globe:

The payments are detailed in a much-anticipated final agreement between the health care giant and Attorney General Martha Coakley filed in Suffolk Superior Court Tuesday. The “consent judgment’’ follows the outlines of a preliminary agreement reached by the two sides in May, allowing Partners to acquire South Shore Hospital in Weymouth and at least two other community hospitals, but restricting its further expansion and temporarily capping its prices.

Well, I admit to being totally wrong in a portion of  my prediction of June 12, when I said of the AG:

Watch for her to weasel out of this deal (or perhaps delay "finalization" until much later in the election cycle.)

But there is another part of that prediction that remains in a holding pattern:

This issue is big enough, in terms of the impact on the state economy for decades to come, to cost the AG the [gubernatorial] election.


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