Plans for a merger between Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Hospital of St. Raphael are moving forward. The hospitals announced Wednesday that they have signed an agreement and will now seek approval from state and federal regulators.

The plan must be reviewed by the state attorney general’s office, the state Office of Health Care Access, and the Federal Trade Commission.

Under the agreement, Yale-New Haven would purchase the assets of St. Raphael, forming one hospital with two campuses. The St. Raphael campus would continue to follow the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. As part of the arrangement, Yale-New Haven would invest in the St. Raphael campus, and St. Raphael’s liabilities would be addressed.

St. Raphael has struggled financially in recent years, while Yale-New Haven has been operating close to capacity, and joining forces could help St. Raphael financially while giving Yale-New Haven access to additional beds. The hospitals say that the arrangement could also lead to better coordinated care and eliminate redundancies, saving money and making the operations more efficient.

The arrangement is one of several hospital affiliations in the works. St. Mary’s and Waterbury hospitals are seeking approval to form a single hospital that would be owned in part by a private Texas firm. St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford and Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford Springs are in talks over an affiliation, as are New London’s Lawrence and Memorial Hospital and The Westerly Hospital of Rhode Island.

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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