Talks between Day Kimball Healthcare and Prospect Medical Holdings, a California-based, for-profit hospital chain, over a partnership agreement have collapsed.
Day Kimball Healthcare is exploring a partnership with a California-based, for-profit company that owns three Connecticut hospitals and has been cited for lapses in treatment across several of its facilities.
Many in health care say joining larger systems is key to small hospitals’ survival. But some policymakers are wary of the trend, saying it can raise prices without necessarily improving quality. And leaders of the state’s few remaining independent community hospitals say their organizations are facing stresses that could jeopardize their viability.
As hospital officials describe it, state policy is pushing them in two opposing directions. Higher state taxes and funding cuts have added to the factors pushing independent community hospitals to join larger health systems, they say. But at the same time, legislators concerned about the growth of large health systems have been pushing for new restrictions on changes in hospital ownership, which hospital officials say makes it harder for them to adapt.
Asthma affects Connecticut residents at higher rates than the nation’s population as a whole, and it’s on the rise. Several local efforts are trying to make headway in changing the course of the disease, using approaches some say could serve as a model for addressing other chronic illnesses that are more heavily influenced by what happens in a patient’s daily life than treatment in the medical system.
The governor cut $192 million in Medicaid funding for hospitals last month, but the actual hit to hospitals could end up being 25 percent higher. The state is holding back additional payments that weren’t part of the cost-saving measure, and the governor’s budget office said decisions about whether to pay them will be “based on whether we have enough money to keep the budget in balance.”
Day Kimball Hospital in Putnam could become the next hospital to join Hartford HealthCare, the parent company of Hartford, Backus and Windham hospitals, MidState Medical Center and The Hospital of Central Connecticut.
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