Connecticut regulators OK Prospect Medical’s purchase of Waterbury Hospital

Source: Erica Teichert, Modern Healthcare, July 18, 2016

Two Connecticut regulators have approved Prospect Medical Holdings’ proposed purchase of the Greater Waterbury (Conn.) Health Network, paving the way for the not-for-profit hospital to become a for-profit provider. In separate decisions on Friday, Connecticut’s attorney general and Department of Public Health both signed off on the $43.3 million deal that will transfer virtually all of Greater Waterbury Health Network’s assets to Los Angeles-based Prospect Medical Holdings. … Under the terms of the regulatory approvals, Prospect Medical will transfer all of Greater Waterbury Health’s charitable assets to an independent foundation, and it will continue to follow Waterbury’s policies for charitable and indigent care for at least five years. Prospect has a successful track record of turning around financially challenged hospitals like Waterbury Hospital, the company said in a statement. Prospect currently owns and operates 18 hospitals, as well as 140 clinics and outpatient centers. The company is also acquiring a two-hospital system in Manchester and Rockville, Conn. …


Third Time Could Be The Charm For Waterbury Hospital Purchase
Source: Christine Stuart, CT News Junkie, June 27, 2016

It looks as if the third time might be the charm for the sale of Greater Waterbury Health Network and Waterbury Hospital to Prospect Medical Holdings Inc. for $100 million. The state Public Health Department’s Office of Health Care Access and the state attorney general’s office announced Friday that it was ready to approve the application filed by California-based Prospect Medical Holdings. … Friday’s draft deal with Prospect Medical Holdings comes with several conditions, including reporting changes in patient care or services to state regulators, health and community need assessments, submission of plans to consolidate or reduce services, and reports to state regulators about how $55 million promised for capital improvements will be spent. … Prospect Medical Holdings is also in the process of purchasing nonprofit Eastern Connecticut Health Network for $105 million. …

State tentatively OKs hospital purchases in Manchester, Vernon
Source: Mark Pazniokas, CT Mirrow, May 25, 2016

The consolidation of the hospital industry progressed Wednesday as state regulators gave tentative approval to the $105 million purchase of Manchester Memorial and Rockville General hospitals by Prospect Medical Holdings, a for-profit company based in Los Angeles. The office of Attorney General George Jepsen and the Office of Health Care Access posted their proposed final decisions for Prospect Medical’s purchase of the two hospitals, which are the major assets of the Eastern Connecticut Health Care Network. … The Office of Health Care Access, or OHCA, is responsible for reviewing the transaction for its effect on the availability and quality of health care in the region served by ECHN and the two hospitals. Manchester Memorial and Rockville General are in the contiguous eastern Hartford suburbs of Manchester and Vernon. In addition to the $105 million purchase price, Prospect Medical is required to invest no less than $75 million in capital improvements over five years, and both facilities must remain as acute-care hospitals for at least three years. Nearly all employees will be offered employment by Prospect. …

Parent of Manchester, Rockville Hospitals Near Merger Deal With California Chain Hospitals and Clinics
Source: Dan Haar, Hartford Courant, June 26, 2015

For-profit hospital chain is in merger talks with parent of Manchester Memorial, Rockville General hospitals The parent of Manchester Memorial and Rockville General hospitals said Friday it is near a merger agreement with Prospect Medical Holdings, a Los Angeles-based chain that is seeking a greater presence in New England. Prospect, which owns 13 hospitals in California, Texas and Rhode Island, is also in talks to acquire Waterbury Hospital….

Will The Third Time Be The Charm for Waterbury Hospital?
Source: Christine Stuart, CT News Junkie, May 5, 2015

Darlene Stromstad, President and CEO of Waterbury Hospital, said the Los Angeles-based Prospect Medical Holdings was chosen because of its “coordinated regional care” approach to healthcare, which will strengthen and enhance access to and the delivery of high quality, cost-effective services for the community. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed Tuesday. The deal comes several months after Texas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. withdrew its proposal to purchase Waterbury Hospital, Saint Mary’s, and three other hospitals in Connecticut. …. With a signed letter of intent, the two organizations will now work on creating an agreement they will need to begin the “certificate of need” process, which is the first step in receiving approval from the Office for Health Care Access and the Attorney General. The transaction also will require approval from federal regulatory agencies. There are 29 acute care hospitals in Connecticut and all but one operate as nonprofits. Last year, the General Assembly passed legislation it felt would make it easier for these for-profit hospital chains to acquire non-profit hospitals. After going through that new process, Tenet withdrew its application after spending at least two years trying to acquire Connecticut hospitals. ….

Waterbury Hospital Strikes New Deal
Source: Harriet Jones, WNPR, May 5, 2015

Waterbury Hospital has found a new buyer. The financially troubled institution could be acquired by a California-based hospital group. Prospect Medical Holdings is the latest suitor for Waterbury Hospital. Prospect currently operates 13 hospitals and 40 clinics and outpatient centers in California, Texas, and Rhode Island. This latest partnership has come together after Tenet Healthcare pulled out of a deal to buy Waterbury and four other hospitals in the state, complaining about overly burdensome state regulations. …
Waterbury Hospital has new plans to be purchased, turn for-profit
Source: Arielle Levin Becker, CT Mirror, May 5, 2015

Waterbury Hospital Waterbury Hospital has announced plans to be acquired by a private Los Angeles-based health care company, the latest move in the hospital’s quest for long-term stability. Prospect Medical Holdings, which operates 13 hospitals and 40 clinics and outpatient centers in California, Texas and Rhode Island, is Waterbury’s third potential buyer in five years….On Tuesday, Waterbury Hospital released a series of questions and answers about the proposed transaction, including some blunt questions related to the legacy of the previous deals. …“Prospect has a strong reputation as an ethical and responsible healthcare company, and maintains positive, collaborative relationships with its physicians, employees, labor unions and payers, as well as with the communities served by its hospitals,” the document said.

Tenet’s Plan To Buy Connecticut Hospitals Is Dead
Source: Matthew Sturdevant and Christopher Keating, Hartford Courant, February 5, 2015

A final effort to salvage plans by a for-profit hospital chain to buy five nonprofit hospitals in Connecticut fell apart Wednesday afternoon as both Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Tenet Healthcare Corp. said that they could not reconcile their differences. “We believe it is best for the hospitals, their employees and the communities they serve to move forward exploring other options,” Malloy and Tenet said in a joint announcement. ….

Tenet CEO Skewers Regulatory Environment, But Is Open To A Deal
Source: Matthew Sturdevant, Hartford Courant, January 22, 2015

Tenet Healthcare’s CEO Trevor Fetter skewered Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration and state regulators in a Jan. 16 letter, saying the state put “excessively onerous” conditions on Tenet’s plans to buy five non-profit hospital in the state. Fetter, however, did leave the door open to negotiate a deal, and laid terms for the start of an agreement. …. “It has been reported that our unfortunate experience was due to pressure placed on your administration by labor unions,” Fetter wrote. “As I mentioned to you in our initial meeting, roughly 20 percent of our total employee base of over 100,000 people is represented by unions.”

Tenet ready to renegotiate hospitals deal with Malloy Waterbury Hospital deal part of discussions
Source: Republican American, January 22, 2015

Tenet Healthcare Corp. is accepting Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s offer to discuss the possibility of Tenet reviving its plans to acquire five Connecticut hospitals. A Malloy spokesman said Tenet Senior Vice President Trip Pilgrim and Mark Ojakian, the governor’s chief of staff, are now in direct communications. In a letter dated Monday, Tenet Healthcare CEO Trevor Fetter laid out a framework for productive negotiations upon which a mutually acceptable agreement could possibly be reached.

Editorial – ‘Termination fee’ could be a start in reducing ECHN deficit
Source: Journal Inquirer, Janaury 21 ,2105

A “termination fee” of $3.15 million from the Tenet Healthcare Corp. to Eastern Connecticut Health Network would help to balance the hospital network’s budget for at least one year. Hopefully someone at ECHN already has asked Tenet for the money, since Tenet walked away from the proposed merger. Perhaps Waterbury Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury also have such a contractual “termination fee” deal with Tenet. If so, they should also demand payment….

Waterbury Hospital CEO Calls on Gov. Malloy to Help Salvage Tenet Deal
Source: Lucy Nalpathanchil, WNPR, December 16, 2014

Five hospitals in Connecticut are contemplating their next steps after Texas-based Tenet Healthcare withdrew a bid to buy the hospitals last week. The CEO of one of the biggest hospitals in the failed deal said they’re now looking to Hartford for help. Last week, Tenet Healthcare cited the state’s approach to regulatory oversight as the reason it pulled its bid to buy Waterbury Hospital, St. Mary’s, Manchester Memorial, Bristol, and Rockville General hospitals….

Waterbury hospital on life support
Source: Tony Terzi, FoxCT, December 16, 2014

Hospital execs express frustration over failed Tenet deals
Source: Brad Kane, Greg Bordonaro, Matt Pilon, Hartford Business, December 12, 2014

After warning state regulators on Wednesday that conditions placed on its acquisition of Waterbury Hospital could scuttle the deal, Tenet Healthcare pulled the plug on its plans to purchase five Connecticut hospitals. Tenet notified the state Office of Health Care Access and the attorney general late Thursday evening that it would not continue its purchase of Waterbury, St. Mary’s, Bristol, Manchester Memorial, and Rockville General hospitals and convert them from nonprofit to a for-profit model….All Connecticut hospitals that were vying for a Tenet acquisition are in need of capital injections. If Tenet doesn’t come back to the negotiating table, the hospitals will need to find other partners, or ask the state legislature for significant funding increases. But the hospital’s merger options have now been significantly narrowed, because there are few other Connecticut hospitals with the capital to take on financially struggling care providers. At the same time, the state may have alienated the entire for-profit hospital industry with the strict conditions it imposed on Tenet, including requiring the appointment of an independent monitor, the freezing of pricing and staff levels for five or more years, the filing of strategic spending and hiring plans, and various other oversight and disclosures….

Waterbury Hospital Could See Layoffs, Reduced Services After Tenet Deal
Source: Brian Dowling, Christopher Keating, Hartford Courant, December 12, 2014

….The deal for for-profit Tenet to purchase not-for-profit Waterbury Hospital was part of a broader plan by Tenet to buy five hospitals in Connecticut that seemed to be rounding the final turn of a process stretching through at least two legislative sessions of intense lobbying. Despite the hospital’s precarious financial position, the state speaker of the house said he would not support a taxpayer-funded bailout of Waterbury Hospital if it came to that point in the future….

Collapse of Tenet’s Connecticut deals shows fissures on for-profit entry
Source: Beth Kutscher, Modern Healthcare, December 12, 2014

….But the deal encountered roadblocks in Connecticut, which has only one investor-owned medical center, 78-bed Sharon (Conn.) Hospital, part of RegionalCare Hospital Partners. The state also has a particularly broad corporate practice of medicine law, and the trend toward physician employment has been controversial in the state. To circumvent those restrictions, Tenet in March formed a partnership with Yale that would have created joint clinical networks, with Yale trading its brand and expertise in exchange for a minority stake in the newly acquired hospitals. As a not-for-profit entity, Yale’s participation also would have created another avenue for the hospitals to employ physicians.
Earlier this month, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen approved Tenet’s deal for Waterbury (Conn.) Hospital with 21 conditions that were largely financial. The state’s Office of Health Care Access also seemed to offer its support to the takeover but imposed 47 more-arduous conditions…..

Fears realized – Manchester mayor had warned state restrictions threatened Tenet deal
Source: Eli Freund, Journal Inquirer, December 13, 2014

Mayors in Manchester and Waterbury, two towns that are home to hospitals involved in the now-defunct sale to Tenet Healthcare Corp., in recent days had aired their displeasure with the extensive list of restrictions the state placed on the deal — restrictions they feared would cause the sale to crumble.
And on Thursday, the Texas-based, for-profit Tenet announced it would abandon its plans to acquire five hospitals in Connecticut. The deal — more than two years in the making— would have seen Tenet acquire Waterbury Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, Bristol Hospital, and Eastern Connecticut Health Network, which owns Rockville General Hospital in Vernon and Manchester Memorial Hospital….

Unions Continue To Express Concerns Over Hospital Conversions
Source: Cara Rosner, CT News Junkie, October 24, 2014

A senior official at the Dallas-based corporation trying to buy community hospitals in Bristol, Vernon, Manchester and Waterbury says privatizing them is the best way to keep them viable, but employee representatives have major concerns about the potential buyouts….

For-profit hospital deal gets done. Then, doubts behind the scenes
Source: Arielle Levin Becker, CT Mirror, May 9, 2014

Late Wednesday night, lawmakers managed to accomplish something many doubted would be possible: Crafting a compromise that could clear the way for four Connecticut hospitals to be acquired by a for-profit company, in a way that would mollify both unions critical of the transactions and hospitals wary of additional state oversight. The measure cleared the House and Senate by wide margins. Union leaders supported the deal. Hospital lobbyists looked pleased. But for some legislators key to the deal, any sense of celebration after the deal was short-lived. Their concern: The response to the bill by Tenet Healthcare and the Yale New Haven Health System, which are partnering to acquire Waterbury, Bristol, Manchester Memorial and Rockville General hospitals. ….

Hospital Privatization Debate Takes Hold In General Assembly
Source: William Weir, Hartford Courant, February 27, 2014

Several Connecticut hospitals are looking to form partnerships with for-profit companies — a change that some say is necessary for hospitals to survive but that others charge would emphasize money over health care and community needs. Thursday, the legislature’s labor and public employees committee heard arguments for and against a bill that would put restrictions on hospitals seeking to convert from nonprofit to for-profit. The bill would require, among other things, that hospitals maintain staffing levels for at least three years after receiving the attorney general’s approval for converting to for-profit status, and to maintain the same employee salaries and benefits that were in place before the conversion. Tenet Healthcare Corp., a Dallas-based for-profit company that has partnered with Yale New Haven Health System, is negotiating to acquire Waterbury Hospital. Bristol Hospital and Eastern Connecticut Health Network are also in merger talks with Tenet. …

Gov. Malloy says ‘progress is being made’
Source: Michael Schroeder, Bristol Press, February 27, 2014

Gov. Dannel Malloy says “progress is being made” on legislation related to the long-awaited sale of Bristol Hospital to Tenet Healthcare, although there is much work to be done. The governor responded to questions about the hospital negotiations during a telephone conference call with editors of state newspapers Wednesday. The focus of the call was on the billion-dollar United Technologies expansion agreement announced the previous day. Malloy recommitted to evaluating privatization of nonprofit hospitals based on how such a move would impact patient care, hospital employees and contributors to the hospitals involved, adding that evaluation and legislation on a case-by-case basis would likely be necessary. He said he would be open to privatization if necessary, but his preference was for the hospitals “to remain in the same hands as they are now.” Bristol Hospital — along with the hospitals of Eastern Connecticut Health Network in Manchester — have purchase agreements pending with Tenet, which purchased Vanguard Healthcare, the originators of the acquisition….

Workers want protections in hospital mergers
Source: Don Michak, Journal Inquirer December 4, 2013

The General Assembly should not allow the state’s nonprofit hospitals to be converted to for-profit entities without taking steps to ensure safe nurse-to-patient ratios, preserve the jobs of support workers, and protect employee pensions, union officials say….Similarly, the leader of the union that represents 400 nurses at Waterbury Hospital said lawmakers should require “for-profit converters” to make certain guarantees. Waterbury Hospital, along with Bristol Hospital and Eastern Connecticut Health Network’s Manchester Memorial and Rockville General hospitals, has been targeted for takeover by the Texas hospital chain Tenet Healthcare. Barbara Simonetta, president of Connecticut Health Associates, said such guarantees would include agreements to maintain access to current health services and affordable care. She said the for-profits also should agree to maintain “quality staffing and hospital employees’ standard of living” and to comply with “community benefits” provisions, including patient and worker protections. Simonetta also complained that Waterbury Hospital was making “cuts to woo investors to its fire sale” and accused Tenet of “stealing our retirement security to line investors’ pockets.”…

Committee Hears Pros & Cons of For-Profit vs. Nonprofit Hospitals
Source: Christine Stuart, CT News Junkie, December 4, 2013

Tempers flared at the end of the this year’s legislative session over a bill that would have made it easier for a private, for-profit hospital company to purchase physician practices from a nonprofit hospital that it planned to take over….Waterbury Hospital was the first to start courting for-profit suitors like Vanguard Health Systems, a Tennessee-based for-profit hospital operator that was recently acquired by another Texas-based for-profit company called Tenet HealthCare Corporation. Tenet has been in negotiations with Waterbury Hospital and has been courted by Bristol Hospital, and Eastern Connecticut Health Network. But the question lawmakers will have to answer is: Would a for-profit risk quality care in order to achieve savings for shareholders?…

Officials on hospital takeovers: Not so fast
Source: Don Michak, Journal Inquirer, July 30, 2013

…Barnes and other administration officials say the out-of-state companies and corporate buyout firms that would acquire or merge with the hospitals and convert them into for-profit providers should not be allowed to make the switch without a major public “discussion.”… The officials spoke with the Journal Inquirer in recent days as Eastern Connecticut Health Network, the nonprofit owner of Manchester Memorial and Rockville General hospitals, is poised to “partner” with one of two larger for-profit hospital systems based in Tennessee and Texas….

…Attorney General Jepsen, who along with the commissioner of the state health department has power of approval over sale of nonprofit hospitals, agreed with Barnes that conversions are “kind of the wave of the future,” adding, “We’re not going to be able to turn back the clock.” Asked if he is concerned that a community’s needs no longer would be the priority of a former nonprofit, Jepsen demurred, asserting that the attorney general’s role in a conversion is limited…. Jepsen added that Sharon Hospital “is the only completed conversion,” referring to the Litchfield County facility acquired in 2002 by the Tennessee for-profit system, Essent Healthcare….