By Associated Press - Wednesday, January 8, 2020

LEBANON, N.H. (AP) - Two of New Hampshire’s largest health care providers say they need to merge to gain access to more patients, protect the state’s only academic medical center and support the state’s struggling rural hospitals.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health asked the New Hampshire attorney general’s office for approval to combine services with Manchester’s Catholic Medical Center.

“To sustain its essential education and research programs, D-HH must preserve and grow its access to patients, which it can achieve by establishing a greater presence in southern New Hampshire, which is home to most of the state’s population and is the only region in the state with a rising population,” the filling said.

According to the filing, the organization would be known as Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health GraniteOne and would expand specialty care, such as oncology and orthopedics, Valley news reported.

The two organizations currently maintain clinical collaborations; however, financial and operational integration would reduce expenses related to further expansion and stabilize returns, according to the filing.

“If achieved, these cost savings are a clear and quantifiable benefit to the Parties and their abilities to serve their communities’ needs,” the filling stated.

A former attorney general objected to a similar filing over a decade ago, likening the planned merger to a takeover by Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the newspaper reported.

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