Care New England submits formal application to close Rhode Island hospital

Providence, R.I.-based Care New England submitted an application Thursday to the Rhode Island Department of Health to close Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket, R.I.

Care New England, which took over ownership of Memorial Hospital in 2013, announced plans in October to close the hospital after a deal fell through to sell the facility to Prime Healthcare Foundation, the Ontario, Calif.-based nonprofit arm of Prime Healthcare Services.

Officials said the application with the state department of health indicates Memorial Hospital plans to cease operations as a licensed inpatient hospital and seeks approval to shutter its emergency department and certain other services, according to WPRI

"Due to service readiness, staffing, and operational requirements to meet licensure conditions, Memorial loses approximately $2 million per month," the application states, according to WPRI. "Given such under-utilization and unsustainable chronic financial losses, Memorial cannot continue to adequately staff and deliver patient care services in a clinically safe and financially viable manner and intends to cease all operations as soon as possible."

Memorial Hospital recorded an operating loss of $23 million for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30.

After Memorial Hospital closes, Care New England intends to provide primary and specialty care services in Pawtucket. The health system is currently working on a transition plan for Memorial Hospital's employees.

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