New Hampshire hospitals plan to proceed with affiliation despite AG objection

To the surprise of executives at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health and Catholic Medical Center, New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney did not approve their proposed affiliation, saying that the move would be prohibited by state law governing charitable institutions and would require probate court approval to continue, the Associated Press reports.

"The proposed transaction is highly complex but at its essence, the proposal would reorganize the corporate structures of CMC and its affiliates," Delaney said at a news conference. "Catholic Medical Center would cede control to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health and become part of a regional integrated health system overseen and controlled by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health."

Other opponents say it would be impossible to integrate the hospitals and uphold Catholic standards, such as prohibitions against abortion and research that results in the destruction of embryos, even though Dartmouth-Hitchcock's Dr. Thomas Colacchio noted in a separate news conference that its powers were limited to only those necessary to allow collaboration among physicians and hospitals and that equal power was given to the Bishop of Manchester.

Despite the challenges, the hospitals plan to proceed. "We believe that we will be able to overcome the challenges that we face and move on with trying to achieve our goal of providing the best care in the right place at the right time," Colacchio said.

To learn more:
- read this AP article in Bloomberg Businessweek