The pending return of health care giant Tenet Healthcare Corp. to Massachusetts has the potential to shake up the state’s hospitals and doctors networks, which are already rapidly consolidating.
The for-profit system, which owns 49 hospitals in 11 states, will enter a marketplace much changed from the one it left in 2004, when the chain sold Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester and the MetroWest Medical Center hospitals in Framingham and Natick to Vanguard Health Systems Inc. for $126.7 million.
By agreeing last month to buy for-profit Vanguard for about $1.8 billion — a deal that will bring the three Massachusetts hospitals back into the Tenet fold — Dallas-based Tenet signaled that it has become more aggressive about expanding nationally at a time when more patients will be signing up for medical insurance under the new national health care law….
…The purchase also raises several questions that probably won’t be answered until it takes effect. Among them are what changes might be expected at the state’s three Vanguard-owned hospitals— Saint Vincent, Framingham Union Hospital, and Leonard Morse Hospital in Natick — and how the giant acquisition will affect Vanguard’s alliance with Tufts Medical Center in Boston, which has a clinical affiliation with the MetroWest hospitals and has jointly pursued the acquisition of Massachusetts community hospitals — thus far unsuccessfully — with Vanguard….