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Yale New Haven Health's planned 3-hospital acquisition 'critical' to growth, CEO says

Despite hospital consolidation concerns, "growth is critical" to the success of Yale New Haven Health, and its planned 3-hospital acquisition will benefit patients in the state, CEO Christopher O'Connor told the Hartford Courant.

In October, the system signed an agreement to purchase three hospitals from Los Angeles-based Prospect Medical Holdings for $400 million: 

  • Waterbury (Conn.) Hospital 
  • Manchester (Conn.) Memorial Hospital 
  • Rockville General Hospital in Vernon, Conn.

Yale New Haven plans to transition the hospitals, which are part of the Eastern Connecticut Health Network, back to nonprofit facilities. The transaction would increase the system's hospital campuses to 10 and add about 4,400 more employees to Yale New Haven's current 29,000, according to Yale News.

Recent Yale New Haven hospital acquisitions — including the Hospital of St. Raphael and Milford, Lawrence and Memorial, and Westerly Hospital — have seen "tremendous growth" over the past decade, Mr. O'Connor told the Courant. Westerly Hospital had 27 patients when it joined the health system, and now has 100, he said. 

Potential advantages of the three-hospital transaction would be the small community hospitals relying on Yale New Haven's expertise in specialized surgeries and treatments, more jobs at those hospitals and more patients being able to receive treatment in their own community, rather than traveling to New Haven or Hartford, Conn., hospital leaders told the Courant.

Mr. O'Connor pushed back against concerns that the deal could lead to increased costs and a reduction in services for residents of those communities, arguing that Yale New Haven is relatively small compared to other health systems nationwide and that the Federal Trade Commission found the transaction "did not impair growth and competition."

There are 51 hospitals operating in Connecticut, according to the American Hospital Directory.

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