EAST MEADOW, N.Y.—
Nuhealth System said it will seek $30 million and antitrust clearance from the state of New York to downsize its hospital and affiliate more closely with North Shore-long Island Jewish Health System. The proposal, to be submitted to the state, won unanimous approval from the Nuhealth governing board. Nuhealth, which includes 481-bed Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, has struggled with pension costs, Medicaid cuts, less support from local government and rates from managed care, according to a statement from the hospital. Nuhealth would cut 50 beds from Nassau University Medical Center’s medical and surgical unit, and detoxification and residential rehabilitation units. Nassau University Medical Center would expand primary care, outpatient behavioral health and substance abuse, build an observation and detoxification unit near its emergency room and invest in electronic medical records and communications with $30 million from the state. North Shore-lij, an 11-hospital system based in Great Neck, N.Y., and Nuhealth would integrate clinical and quality programs and selectively develop or consolidate services. Plans include seeking antitrust protection to allow North Shore-lij to help Nuhealth in negotiations with insurers. Terrance Lynam, a spokesman for North Shore-lij, said the proposed affiliation would not change the governance or management of either organization, and that North Shore-lij did not pledge any cash or agree to assume any Nuhealth liabilities. Nuhealth will also seek a temporary increase for Medicaid hospital payments to offset losses from fewer inpatients and other operating expenses. SCRANTON, Pa.—
Community Health Systems consolidated eight Pennsylvania hospitals under a newly created health system called Commonwealth Health. Cornelio Catena, CEO of Wilkes-barre General Hospital, will also serve as CEO of the system, a spokesman for the 358-bed hospital said. The other hospitals in the system include 25-bed Mid-valley Hospital, Peckville, and 217-bed Moses Taylor Hospital, Scranton, which the Franklin, Tenn.-based system acquired from Catholic Health Partners in January. The remaining hospitals are 101-bed Berwick (Pa.) Hospital Center; 107-bed First Hospital, Wilkes-barre; 244-bed Regional Hospital of Scranton; 64-bed Special Care Hospital, Nanticoke; and 58-bed Tyler Memorial Hospital, Tunkhannock, according to a news release. NORWICH, Conn.—
The parent company of 184-bed William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich and Hartford Healthcare Corp. said they signed a letter of intent to explore a formal affiliation. The purpose is to merge Backus into Hartford Healthcare, according to a joint news release. Backus Corp. is the parent of the Backus Healthcare System, which includes the hospital as well as a home health agency, multispecialty physicians group and outpatient centers. “I am proud to be associated with such a forward-thinking board that has chosen to explore this strategic partnership to create a sustainable system of integrated, highvalue healthcare for the regional community of eastern Connecticut,” Backus President and CEO David Whitehead said in the release. The Backus board of directors has reviewed “opportunities for strategic alignment” for more than a year and voted to explore the formal affiliation with Hartford Healthcare after reviewing other proposals, according to the release. Backus and Hartford Healthcare plan to conduct focus groups with stakeholders that include medical staff, volunteers and the local community during the due-diligence period. Hartford Hospital, the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain, Midstate Medical Center in Meriden, and Windham Hospital in Willimantic make up Hartford Healthcare. PATERSON, N.J.—
Ascension Health Care Network, the for-profit joint venture between the largest U.S. Catholic health system and a private-equity firm, is in talks with two New Jersey hospitals about the possible development of a new Catholic system in the state. The possible deal is the first to be publicly identified by the joint venture, which was launched roughly a year ago to acquire Catholic hospitals. Joe Orlando, a spokesman for Ascension Health Care Network, confirmed the joint venture’s interest in response to a query about a local media report naming Ascension Health Care Network, but also referring to Ascension’s not-for-profit system. “Ascension Health Care Network of St. Louis is in discussions with St. Joseph’s Healthcare System in Paterson and St. Mary’s Hospital in Passaic regarding the potential creation of a new Catholic healthcare system in New Jersey,” Orlando said in an e-mailed statement. The joint venture between Ascension Health, St. Louis and Oak Hill Capital Partners has not announced any deals since its formation. Ascension Health pledged $100 million toward deals, and Oak Hill Capital agreed to invest another $400 million. The joint venture will seek acquisitions in four or five markets where hospitals have sufficient market share or where markets could be consolidated, according to comments by Ascension Health Care Network officials at conferences in recent months.
Nassau University Medical Center would downsize under an affiliation with North Shore-lij.