Rep. Johnston and Sen. Crowley introduce legislation to expedite merger of Memorial Hospital with Prime Healthcare Foundation
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Raymond H. Johnston, Jr. (D-Dist. 61, Pawtucket) and Sen. Elizabeth A. Crowley (D-Dist. 16, Central Falls, Pawtucket) have introduced legislation (2017-H 6284 / 2017-S 0937) that would streamline the procedure for the approval of mergers of nonprofit hospitals in response to the proposed merger of Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket with Prime Healthcare Foundation.
“It is important that Memorial Hospital continues to serve the people of Pawtucket as it has for over the past 100 years. This bill will allow Memorial Hospital to move into the future with its new partner to continue to provide excellent and quality healthcare to a community that has counted on its services for decades,” said Representative Johnston.
“This legislation will keep Memorial Hospital’s doors open so that the surrounding community continues to receive the care that they rely upon every single day. It is critical that Memorial Hospital’s fate is determined in a timely manner so that the patients who use the hospital’s services may plan accordingly. The hospital as it currently stands is in financial hardship which could cause a cut in services and jobs and this legislation would allow the parties to work quickly to affect a change in ownership that may keep these vital services.” said Senator Crowley.
Prime Healthcare Foundation, based in California and owners of the Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket, has recently proposed the acquisition of Memorial Hospital from Care New England. Memorial Hospital, a community institution for over 100 years, has been operating with a deficit for many years, yet there is strong community support to keep the hospital’s doors open and serving the surrounding public.
The proposed merger, under “The Hospital Conversions Act,” is subject to review and approval from the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office. Representative Johnston and Senator Crowley’s legislation would expedite the normal procedure by streamlining the process of approval with the hopes of keeping Memorial Hospital open and functioning for the benefit of the community.
Cosponsors of the legislation in the House of Representatives are Rep. Carlos E. Tobon (D-Dist. 58, Pawtucket), Rep. Mary Duffy Messier (D-Dist. 62, Pawtucket), and Rep. Jean Philippe Barros (D-Dist. 59, Pawtucket).
Cosponsors of the legislation in the Senate are Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, North Providence), and Sen. William J. Conley Jr. (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket).
Representative Johnston’s bill has been referred to the House Committee on Corporations and Senator Crowley’s bill was heard by the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services last night.
For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903