Mass General Brigham officials said Friday the hospital system has withdrawn its controversial proposal to build outpatient care centers in Woburn and Westborough and to expand an existing facility in Westwood after learning Department of Public Health staff would not recommend approval of the projects.
The DPH did, however, recommend that the Public Health Council, with conditions, partially approve a project at the main campus of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and approve a project at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital.
The trio of suburban ambulatory care centers, which MGB had described as a way to allow its existing patients in those areas to receive services closer to home and at a lower cost, were opposed by organizations banded together as the Coalition to Protect Community Care, including UMass Memorial Health, Wellforce, the Massachusetts Nurses Association, Health Care for All, and chambers of commerce representing Worcester, Marlborough, Stoneham, Medford and Melrose.
“We are pleased to hear that Mass General Brigham’s proposal to build ambulatory centers in Westwood, Westborough and Woburn will not move forward,” a coalition spokesperson said Friday evening. “We applaud the Baker-Polito Administration, the Department of Public Health, the Office of the Attorney General, the Health Policy Commission, and strong legislative support across both branches for their diligence and commitment to containing healthcare costs, protecting high-value community healthcare providers, and improving health equity as this proposal was undergoing review.”
The coalition argued the plan would hurt the financial viability of local providers. The state’s Health Policy Commission in January told the Department of Health’s determination of need program that MGB’s expansion plans were likely to “[d]rive substantial patient volume and revenue to the higher-cost MGB system, particularly commercially insured volume, and likely away from other lower-cost providers.”
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