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PLATTS­BURGH, N.Y.—

Two hos­pi­tals in up­state New York signed a let­ter of in­tent to join Fletcher Allen Part­ners in Ver­mont. Adding Cham­plain Val­ley Physi­cians Hospi­tal Med­i­cal Cen­ter, a 251-bed hospi­tal in Platts­burgh, and the 25-bed El­iz­a­beth­town (N.Y.) Com­mu­nity Hospi­tal would make Fletcher Allen Part­ners a fourhos­pi­tal sys­tem. Fletcher Allen Part­ners is the newly cre­ated par­ent or­ga­ni­za­tion for the 419-bed Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burling­ton, Vt., and the 83-bed Cen­tral Ver­mont Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Ber­lin, Vt. “Pur­su­ing an af­fil­i­a­tion with Fletcher Allen Part­ners makes sense from a ge­o­graphic and pa­tient-care per­spec­tive as we have had the priv­i­lege of pro­vid­ing crit­i­cal safety net ser­vices—trauma and neona­tal care—to the peo­ple of the North Coun­try for decades,” Dr. John Brum­sted, pres­i­dent and CEO of Fletcher Allen Health Care and Fletcher Allen Part­ners, said in a news re­lease. The fi­nan­cial terms of the agree­ment were not dis­closed, a Fletcher Allen spokesman said. If the pro­posed af­fil­i­a­tion is ap­proved, Fletcher Allen would be awarded ap­proval pow­ers over the hos­pi­tals’ se­lec­tion of trus­tees and CEOS, an­nual bud­gets and strate­gic plans, and de­vel­op­ment of new pro­grams and ser­vices. Cham­plain Val­ley and El­iz­a­beth­town Com­mu­nity Hospi­tal, which are part of Com­mu­nity Providers, would re­tain their boards, man­age­ment, work­force, li­cen­sure and en­dow­ments. The pro­posed af­fil­i­a­tion is ex­pected to be ef­fec­tive this year. JER­SEY CITY, N.J.—

A U.S. bank­ruptcy court ap­proved Hud­son Hospi­tal Holdco’s $45.27 mil­lion bid to buy New Jer­sey’s Christ Hospi­tal, ac­cord­ing to a spokesman for Christ Hospi­tal. The deal also calls for Hud­son Hospi­tal Holdco to in­vest $35 mil­lion over five years and sets con­di­tions on hospi­tal op­er­a­tions, ac­cord­ing to bank­ruptcy doc­u­ments. The buyer must op­er­ate Christ Hospi­tal as an acute-care hospi­tal for at least 10 years and main­tain es­sen­tial health­care ser­vices for five years. Hud­son Hospi­tal Holdco can­not sell Christ Hospi­tal for at least five years, ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ment. The New Jer­sey at­tor­ney gen­eral must ap­prove the deal, which must also re­ceive a certificate of need, ac­cord­ing to the Christ Hospi­tal spokesman. Hud­son Hospi­tal Holdco, which in­cludes prin­ci­pals that also own the Bay­onne Med­i­cal Cen­ter and the Hobo­ken Univer­sity Med­i­cal Cen­ter, was one of two bid­ders for the dis­tressed hospi­tal. Trus­tees for Christ Hospi­tal en­dorsed the Hud­son Hospi­tal bid. “Af­ter thought­ful and care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion, it was de­cided that Hud­son Hospi­tal Holdco’s bid would best en­able Christ Hospi­tal to con­tinue its mis­sion of pro­vid­ing qual­ity pa­tient care,” the hospi­tal said in a state­ment. Christ Hospi­tal filed for Chap­ter 11 bank­ruptcy in Fe­bru­ary af­ter public out­cry scut­tled Prime Health­care Ser­vices’ $35 mil­lion of­fer for the hospi­tal.

PROV­I­DENCE, R.I.— The Rhode Is­land Qual­ity In­sti­tute an­nounced it re­ceived a $600,000 fed­eral grant to give be­hav­ioral­health providers ac­cess to the state’s health in­for­ma­tion ex­change, called Cur­ren­tcare. The Cen­ter for In­te­grated Health So­lu­tions—a joint pro­gram of the Health Re­sources Ser­vices Ad­min­is­tra­tion and the Sub­stance Abuse and Men­tal Health Ser­vices Ad­min­is­tra­tion— awarded the qual­ity in­sti­tute a sub­con­tract to fa­cil­i­tate datashar­ing be­tween be­hav­ioral-health and gen­eral health providers. Among the goals of the ef­fort are to drive vol­un­tary en­roll­ment in Cur­ren­tcare among be­hav­ioral-health pa­tients, al­low be­hav­ioral-health providers to view clin­i­cal in­for­ma­tion about en­rolled pa­tients, and en­able se­cure data ex­change be­tween prac­tice-based elec­tronic health-record sys­tems and Cur­ren­tcare, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the in­sti­tute. “Giv­ing be­hav­ioral health providers ac­cess to their pa­tients’ phys­i­cal health data and col­lect­ing and shar­ing be­hav­ioral health data through Cur­ren­tcare has al­ways been part of the road map for Rhode Is­land’s HIE. How­ever, un­til now, the roll­out of these ca­pa­bil­i­ties has been un­funded,” said Gary Chris­tensen, the in­sti­tute’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer and chief in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer.

NEW YORK— Penin­sula Hospi­tal can­not sur­vive a pro­longed clo­sure by state health of­fi­cials and will not re­open, said the ap­pointed Chap­ter 11 trustee for the hospi­tal. Penin­sula Hospi­tal halted ad­mis­sions and trans­ferred pa­tients af­ter its clin­i­cal lab­o­ra­tory failed a state in­spec­tion in Fe­bru­ary. In a let­ter to the court, the trustee said state health of­fi­cials re­viewed progress to­ward re­open­ing the lab­o­ra­tory and found it would re­quire “sub­stan­tial ad­di­tional time, ef­fort and ex­pense” be­fore it may be ready. “The hospi­tal does not have suf­fi­cient work­ing cap­i­tal to keep the hospi­tal open (even with a greatly re­duced staff) for such a pro­longed pe­riod while re­cer­ti­fi­ca­tion ef­forts con­tinue,” ac­cord­ing to the let­ter. The trustee will sub­mit a hospi­tal clo­sure plan to the state and will co­or­di­nate with the state health depart­ment on how to

shut down the hospi­tal. PUR­CHASE, N.Y.—

Westmed Med­i­cal Group, a mul­tispe­cialty group med­i­cal prac­tice, said it is col­lab­o­rat­ing with Unit­edhealth Group to form an ac­count­able care or­ga­ni­za­tion. Westmed will work with Unit­edhealth­care and Op­tum, the in­sur­ance and health in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy ser­vices busi­nesses of Min­netonka, Minn.-based Unit­edhealth Group, to form the Westmed ACO, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease. Westmed has 220 physi­cians at nine lo­ca­tions in New York’s Westch­ester County. The Westmed ACO will be avail­able to Westch­ester County res­i­dents who are cov­ered by Unit­edhealth­care’s Ox­ford Health Plans fully in­sured com­mer­cial prod­uct start­ing April 1. A spokes­woman for Unit­edhealth­care said the com­pany plans to seek ap­proval from the New York State Depart­ment of Health to ex­pand the ACO to in­clude Westch­ester County res­i­dents who are cov­ered un­der Ox­ford Health’s fully in­sured com­mer­cial HMO and POS prod­ucts. “Our col­lab­o­ra­tion with Westmed is the lat­est in a se­ries of ac­count­able care ini­tia­tives that bring to­gether the strength of Unit­edhealth­care’s care provider net­works and Op­tum’s tech­nol­ogy ca­pa­bil­i­ties to fur­ther ad­vance pa­tient care and ser­vice,” Dr. Sam Ho, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent and chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer of Unit­edhealth­care, said in the news re­lease. Last June, Tuc­son Med­i­cal Cen­ter and lo­cal physi­cians said they had formed a part­ner­ship with Op­tum to cre­ate an ACO in south­ern Ari­zona. The Unit­edhealth­care spokes­woman said in an e-mail that the com­pany plans to an­nounce other ACO ini­tia­tives this year. BUF­FALO, N.Y.—

Five-cam­pus hospi­tal Kaleida Health shut­tered Millard Fill­more Gates Cir­cle Hospi­tal last week and shifted the hospi­tal’s ser­vices to Buf­falo Gen­eral Med­i­cal Cen­ter and the newly opened Gates Vas­cu­lar In­sti­tute. Millard Fill­more Gates Cir­cle Hospi­tal was one of the hos­pi­tals that the state’s Com­mis­sion on Health Care Fa­cil­i­ties in the 21st Cen­tury marked for clo­sure in 2006. Kaleida Health and the Univer­sity of Buf­falo started con­struc­tion on the $291 mil­lion Gates Vas­cu­lar In­sti­tute in mid-2009. Kaleida Health, which has 1,161 beds, said in a state­ment on its web­site that Buf­falo Gen­eral Med­i­cal Cen­ter and the Gates Vas­cu­lar In­sti­tute are less than two

Adding Cham­plain Val­ley, above, and El­iz­a­beth­town will make Fletcher Allen Part­ners a four-hospi­tal sys­tem.

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