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Ranks of MA for-profit hospitals may grow

For-profit healthcare is expanding in Massachusetts, with community hospitals in Taunton and Lowell expected to soon disclose deals to be sold, probably to Steward Health Care System, while other struggling nonprofit hospitals around the state ponder similar bids. Steward, the Boston for-profit company formed last year to run the six Caritas Christi hospitals in Eastern Massachusetts, appears to have the upper hand in bidding for Morton Hospital and Medical Center in Taunton, according to people briefed on the negotiations. It also has a preliminary agreement to buy Saints Medical Center in Lowell, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity because talks are confidential. A national for-profit hospital chain, Vanguard Health Systems, also has taken part in both competitions and is hunting to buy hospitals elsewhere in the state.
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