Today is the deadline for state regulators to decide whether an out-of-state hospital chain can acquire Woonsocket's Landmark Medical Center. The decision will mark the end of five years of uncertainty for the struggling hospital.
Landmark has been in receivership, a kind of bankruptcy, since 2008. It's flirted with several different potential buyers who got cold feet for one reason or another and pulled out. It's battled the state's largest insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island, for higher payments.
But finally, the financially strapped community hospital attracted and held the interest of Prime Healthcare, a for-profit hospital chain known for acquiring faltering hospitals.
The decision expected today on whether Prime can buy Landmark will come from the Department of Health and attorney general. They have had until today to review Prime's application to determine whether it complies with Rhode Island’s Hospital Conversions Act. It was enacted to guard against any negative consequences from converting a nonprofit hospital to a for-profit one. If approved, this would be the state's first for-profit hospital.