Rhode Island orders Memorial Hospital to halt admissions, citing patient safety concerns

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The Rhode Island Department of Health on Thursday ordered Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket, R.I., part of Providence, R.I.-based Care New England, to stop admitting patients, performing surgeries and accepting emergency patients, according to the Providence Journal.

Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, issued the consent order to ensure patient safety while the state considers Care New England's request to shut down Memorial Hospital. A department spokesperson told WPRI the order was issued due to low staffing levels at Memorial Hospital and the expiration of the facility's contract with an anesthesia group.

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.

The consent order from the Rhode Island Department of Health takes effect Friday and lasts until the department makes a decision on Care New England's application to close Memorial Hospital, according to the Providence Journal

On Thursday, Care New England said it would comply with the department of health's orders.

"While Memorial Hospital continues to work with RIDOH, the governor, and the mayors, pending a final RIDOH ruling on our formal closure plan and regulatory application, the order requires Memorial Hospital to take immediate and important precautionary measures to halt services that can no longer be sufficiently maintained," Care New England spokesman Jim Beardsworth said in an emailed statement. "In the best interest of patient safety, Memorial Hospital and Care New England intend to fully comply with all measures set forth in the order immediately."

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