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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.

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