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Tufts Medical Center in Boston and Lowell General Hospital have reached a tentative deal on a merger officials say will make both institutions stronger while lowering medical costs.
Both are among the last remaining independent hospitals in the state and had been looking for partnership opportunities.
Under terms of a tentative agreement announced Monday, each nonprofit hospital would continue to operate independently under a new parent organization, which has yet to be named. Other health care providers could eventually be added.
Lowell General and Tufts already have clinical affiliations.
The two hospitals are similar in size, each with more than 400 beds. The Boston hospital is the principal teaching hospital for the Tufts University School of Medicine.
The deal is subject to approval from state regulators.