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More proposed changes to hospital sales in RI

April 3, 2012

Remember that bill in the General Assembly that allows  for-profit companies to buy more than one hospital in a year? That legislation now includes new language asking for more changes to the state’s Hospital Conversion Act.

The new replacement bill (S2180 Substitute A) will go before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee tomorrow, so take a look at the changes today if you want to weigh in.

According to Greg Pare, the communications director for the Senate, the old bill contained these elements-

  •  Delete the prohibition on a for-profit applying for a second hospital conversion within 3 years of the first conversion.
  • Delete a list of factors that could be included in the review of an application of a for-profit for a second hospital conversion, based on their performance after acquiring the first hospital.

The substitute version of the bill contains those above elements and adds these changes-

  • The Initial Application requirements are modified to achieve paperwork reductions.
  • The actual Conversion Review process is reduced from 180 to 120 days following the acceptance of a conversion application.
  • An Expedited Review process (not to exceed 90 days from application acceptance) is established for “distressed” hospitals when the applicant is a RI non- profit entity.
  • A list of conditions are added for consideration by the director of health and attorney general to stipulate as contingencies upon any approval of a for-profit conversion. These include:
    1. Maintaining a local governing board of the converted hospital
    2. Making a financial contribution to state health planning
    3. Restrictions on financial incentives to patients receiving hospital care outside of RI
    4. Keeping the converted hospital open for at least a set period of time
    5. Making a minimum investment in primary care in RI
    6. To only enter into reasonably necessary contracts with affiliated entities
    7. To adhere to a maximum amount of profits to owners
    8. To adhere to a maximum amount of corporate profits
    9. To commit to a minimum investment to protect the assets, financial health, and well-being of the new hospital and for community benefit.

What do you think of these changes? Do they make you more or less likely to support the bill?

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