R.I. approves first hospital conversions act merger‏

Nick Rees Nov. 2, 2009, 1:37pm

Patrick Lynch (D)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Legal Newsline) - Attorney General Patrick Lynch has approved the first-ever affiliation under the state Hospital Conversions Act of St. Joseph Health Services-Roger Williams Medical Center.

"I am pleased to announce that I have approved the affiliation of St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island and Roger Williams Medical Center and Roger Williams Hospital pursuant to the state's Hospital Conversions Act and common law concerning charitable assets," Lynch said. "These hospitals have submitted their affiliation plans to a rigorous review, and as a result, I am hopeful that these two important charitable institutions, which truly are cornerstones in our community, will continue to provide vital health-care services to Rhode Islanders for generations to come."

The affiliation between St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island and Roger Williams Medical Center was approved with minor conditions.

The Rhode Island Department of Health, the other state agency required to review and approve affiliations pursuant to the Hospital Conversions Act, previously approved the affiliation in July.

"The two factors that drove our review process more than any other were, one, ensuring that the newly created CharterCARE Health Partners delivers the same access to health care that the two institutions previously provided separately; and two, quite simply, the preservation of jobs," Lynch said. "In the hyper-competitive and rapidly changing health-care marketplace, it was, and is, essential that the smaller community hospitals remain strong and well positioned to succeed.

Rhode Island's Hospitals Conversions Act was created to ensure that merging non-profit or for-profit hospitals do not engage in practices that could affect the quality medical services provided to the state's community and its vulnerable members.

The act protects public health, welfare, and public and charitable assets while establishing standards and procedures for hospital conversions.

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