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Connecticut hospital's plan sell outpatient facilities to Quest Diagnostics draws criticism

New Britain-based The Hospital of Central Connecticut's proposed deal to sell three remote patient service centers to Madison, N.J.-based Quest Diagnostics drew the ire of several hospital employees, the Hartford Courant reports.

Under the proposed deal, Quest Diagnostics would purchase three blood-draw offices in New Britain and Southington, Conn., and ship specimen from the facilities to its laboratory in Marlborough, Mass., for testing.

Hospital officials said the sale would improve patient care and reduce costs. Jeffrey Flaks, president and COO of The Hospital of Central Connecticut's parent company, Hartford (Conn.) Healthcare, told the Hartford Courant outsourcing operations would bring in millions of dollars of revenue the hospital would "[reinvest] in high-priority areas of need including infrastructure, renovation of key facilities and upgrading equipment."

However, an employee group petitioned the Connecticut Department of Public Health's Office of Health Care Access to hold a formal hearing about the sale. During the Aug. 23 hearing, the group raised questions about the proposed sale, stating it would hurt patient care and operations at the facility, the report states.

The DOH has 60 days to approve or deny the sale proposal.

A second Hartford Healthcare executive said 28 of The Hospital of Connecticut's 123 lab services employees would be affected by the deal. Many of those individuals would receive employment opportunities with Quest, according to the report. No more than 13 employees would lose employment, the executive told the publication.

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