A Massachusetts court has blocked an agreement that would have allowed Partners Health Care to acquire three community hospitals in exchange for capping their prices.

In her decision, Judge Janet Sanders said the deal wouldn't be in the public interest. She says if Partners were to expand it would ultimately mean higher health insurance premiums for consumers and their employers.

Now Partners must decide whether to try to move forward with its expansion plan. Parters' CEO said in a letter to his staff that he's evaluating all the options. Massachusetts' new attorney general, Maura Healey, has threatened to sue to stop the merger.