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.
Updated 8:30 p.m.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has ordered the state Department of Public Health to postpone until next year any final decisions on certain hospital transactions – or reject them if state law requires a quicker decision – while a newly created task force examines the state’s oversight process for transactions and other major changes involving hospitals.
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.
A group of unions and advocacy organizations are calling for state regulators to take a hard look at the growth in power and market concentration of large health systems in Connecticut – and what that means for patients – when they review Yale New Haven Health System’s proposed acquisition of New London’s Lawrence + Memorial Hospital.
The parent company of New London’s Lawrence + Memorial Hospital and Rhode Island’s Westerly Hospital has reached an agreement to join the Yale New Haven Health System, the two corporations announced Wednesday.
Every year, Lawrence + Memorial Hospital CEO Bruce Cummings has done what he calls a “back of the envelope” calculation about the merits of the New London hospital’s remaining independent or joining a larger system. “My thinking began to evolve last year as I looked out on the horizon and just saw just extraordinary changes,” he said.
If the two sides reach an agreement, it would have the potential to make one of the state’s largest health systems even larger, continuing a trend toward consolidation that hospital officials say is inevitable and necessary, but which has provoked concern among some lawmakers, unions and community groups.
The unions representing health care workers at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London have ratified an agreement with the hospital, ending a lengthy labor dispute that included a strike and a lockout.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s calculated decision to make a public show of challenging unionized teachers two years ago still dogs the first-term Democratic governor as he prepares for a 2014 re-election he cannot win without support from organized labor.