Talks between Landmark and Caritas breaking down
It looks like trouble for Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket. The financially strapped hospital has been pinning its hopes of survival on being bought by the Caritas Christi hospital chain in Massachusetts. At one point the two organizations seemed only weeks away from announcing their acquisition plans. But now those plans have stalled.
In a written statement, Landmark’s Special Master Jonathan Savage says the talks were thwarted by unsuccessful efforts to get a higher reimbursement rate from Blue Cross Blue Shield (I have a call out to Blue Cross to see what they say about that.)
Although a number of contingencies were addressed, Savage indicated critical discussions related to reimbursement rates with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Rhode Island did not produce tangible results – which would have greatly improved the chances of a Caritas acquisition moving forward. To date, this has been our biggest hurdle. Unfortunately, attempts to address our inadequate reimbursement rates with Blue Cross were not productive and in fact stalled our negotiations with Caritas.
This is more than just a road bump for Landmark. The hospital says it will no longer offer Caritas “exclusivity”- that means it’s open to talking to other potential buyers. Still, Savage tries to put a positive spin on the whole situation.
This is by no means the end but in fact a new beginning for Landmark. The hospital’s financial picture has dramatically improved during the past two years and there have been many changes on the health care landscape both regionally and nationally that have improved our marketability…Community support remains intact, out patient census is at a five-year high and the commitment of the employees and physicians groups is unwavering.
I’m not sure if Landmark’s future is really that rosy. Based on everything I’ve heard in the past, the hospital needs a buyer soon if it wants to survive.