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Mass. AG backs Caritas sale

Attorney General Martha Coakley yesterday recommended approval of the proposed sale of Caritas Christi Health Care to a New York private equity firm, a deal that would bring for-profit health care on a large scale to a state long dominated by nonprofit hospitals.

But Coakley imposed multiple conditions aimed at protecting Caritas employees and patients and strengthening the state’s health care market at a time of rising costs and declining Medicaid payments.

The terms are meant to assure that the chain of six financially struggling Catholic hospitals — including flagship St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton — remains open for at least five years and fully funds pensions of about 13,000 employees and retirees.

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