Attorney General George Jepsen said Friday that he will not seek to block a proposed merger between Yale-New Haven Hospital and The Hospital of St. Raphael that would create a two-campus hospital in the Elm City.

The decision came after an antitrust investigation of the proposal to determine whether the arrangement, under which Yale would acquire St. Raphael, would substantially lessen competition, including by potentially enabling the merged entity to force insurers to pay higher rates. Jepsen’s investigation was coordinated with the Federal Trade Commission.

In a statement released by his office, Jepsen said he considered factors including “St. Raphael’s precarious financial condition” and expected efficiencies that the deal would make possible.

“My office, in conjunction with the FTC, has reviewed thousands of documents produced by the parties and by various other entities potentially affected by the transaction,” he said. “We have also extensively interviewed local employers, health insurers, doctors, competing hospitals and community groups to gain a better understanding of the workings of the health care market in Greater New Haven.”

The proposal must still receive approval from the state Office of Health Care Access, which is holding a public hearing on the application Tuesday at 10 a.m., at Gateway Community College in New Haven.

Jepsen said Yale has also agreed to his request that it maintain existing levels of charitable care and financial assistance, and provide the same level of service and assistance to patients getting care at the St. Raphael campus. He said that was not a condition of the decision.

Arielle Levin Becker covered health care for The Connecticut Mirror. She previously worked for The Hartford Courant, most recently as its health reporter, and has also covered small towns, courts and education in Connecticut and New Jersey. She was a finalist in 2009 for the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists, a recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship and the third-place winner in 2013 for an in-depth piece on caregivers from the National Association of Health Journalists. She is a 2004 graduate of Yale University.

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