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Here comes the merger application

February 29, 2012

Apologies for not posting yesterday. I was finishing up a feature on Rhode Island Hospital’s relationship with a vibrator company.

Anyway, while I was tracking my narration and mixing in some ambient sound, the Rhode Island Department of Health released Steward Health Care System’s application to buy Landmark Medical Center.

If you download the entire zipped file of information (look under “pending applications”) you’ll not only get the 131 page application, but a folder with 2,589 pages of “exhibits”- essentially extra information supporting the body of the application.  If you save all of these on your computer (and it doesn’t crash your hard drive) you’ll be able to read the application and click on links in the text to these extra exhibits.

The zipped file also includes a folder of exhibits that were considered confidential by the Attorney General’s office. Don’t get too excited. The files are just cover sheets for all the information you’re not allowed to see.

I know the nearly 3,000 page application seems long, but what’s available to the public is pretty puny. Felice Freyer from the Providence Journal says the original document was 12,000 pages. What’s been left out? Likely lots of  proprietary information about Steward’s finances and Landmark’s reimbursement rates.

I’m going to start combing through the documents today, and I’ll let you know if I see anything interesting. But if you love geeking out about this stuff, please dig in and let me know if something strikes you as important. I could use a whole office full of experts for this reading project.

Once you’ve read all 2,720 pages, you’ll be ready for the public hearing on the Landmark purchase.  The event is on April 9th at Woonsocket City Hall.  You can either testify between 2pm-4pm, or come by after work  from 6pm-8pm.

Can’t make it either time?  The Department of Health and the Attorney General’s Office will accept written testimony until April 16th at 4pm. You can either one at-

Jodi Bourque                                                         Michael Dexter

Health Care Advocate                                    Office of Health System Development

Office of Attorney General                                      Department of Health

150 South Main Street                                           Three Capital Hill, Room 404

Providence, RI 02903                                            Providence, RI 02908

And of course, you can always write to me! I have no pull over whether the state accepts the application, but I’d love to know your opinion.

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