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Dem Gov Signs Bill Making It Easier For One Financially Strapped Hospital System To Buy Another

Democratic Governor of Rhode Island Gina Raimondo just signed legislation that will have a negative impact on the states struggling hospitals. 

As Rhode Island’s hospitals continue to struggle, recent legislation signed by Governor Gina Raimondo (D-RI) paved the way for one financially strapped group to buy another.

As the Providence Journal reported yesterday, Care New England is in the process of merging with Partners HealthCare. Before the deal can move forward, Care New England must first unload the ailing Pawtucket-based Memorial Hospital, which lost $16.3 million over the last nine months, from its network. Prime HealthCare, a California based company, is moving forward with a deal to purchase Memorial, but Prime has major financial problems of its own.

Go Local Prov recently noted Prime’s recent downgrade in the S&P Global Ratings to a B- amid “growing financial turmoil.”

But there’s more. Around the same time as their credit downgrade, Prime announced they were withdrawing from a bid for a hospital in New Jersey. Another Prime-operated Jersey location was downgraded from an emergency room to an urgent care system. In Texas, employee layoffs “said to be high in number” were reported at a hospital Prime was acquiring.

All of which raises the question why Democrat Governor Raimondo, who has come under attention from the Republican Governors Association (RGA) amid worsening poll numbers, signed legislation making it easier for Prime to purchase Memorial Hospital.

Memorial’s financial problems are already bad enough. Bringing Prime into the picture will make them even worse.