CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Mergers involving New Hampshire health care providers will soon be under greater scrutiny.

A new law that takes effect in January gives the Charitable Trusts Unit at the attorney general's office more time to review proposed mergers and gives the director specific authority to look at how they will affect access to quality and affordable care. It also requires more than one public hearing on such proposals.

The Valley News reports that lawmakers wanted to clarify the unit director's role after the parent organizations of two hospitals in southern New Hampshire initially objected to answering questions about a merger that led to SolutionHealth last year. The hospitals later answered the questions.

Rep. David Luneau, a Hopkinton Democrat, said the changes are necessary to ensure the public's interests are represented.

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Information from: Lebanon Valley News, http://www.vnews.com

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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