Episode 93: A devilish health care merger

Two of the state’s leading health care analysts say they aren’t sure whether creating a powerful alternative to Partners HealthCare will reduce health care costs in Massachusetts or increase them.

“It’s the devil you know versus the devil you don’t know,” said John E. McDonough, a professor of public health practice at the TH Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University. “Are we better off having one Partners or two Partners?”

Paul Hattis, an associate professor of public health and community medicine at Tufts Medical School, said he also has mixed feelings about the “fight fire with fire” approach advocated by proponents of a merger between Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center of Boston, Lahey Health of Burlington, New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, and Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport. The proposed health care goliath currently goes by the name of NewCo.