The Pulse
12:00 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Good News for RI Health Businesses?

Perhaps.

Westerly Hospital is closer to being acquired by the CT-based nonprofit Lawrence & Memorial. That might provide some relief to the financially troubled hospital, which has been in receivership since late last year (see lots of great posts about that by my illustrious predecessor).

And though it might be apples to oranges, Woonsocket-based CVS Caremark posted a sizable earnings increase this quarter over the same time last year. That’s in part, it says, down to the new customers it gained from another pharmacy and prescription benefits’ company’s falling out. (It might be an increasingly apples-to-apples comparison because pharmacies are increasingly getting into the health care business with onsite clinics, etc.)

Of course, not every health care company in Rhode Island is a CVS Caremark or a step closer to being swept off its feet by a bigger hospital with deeper (albeit nonprofit) pockets. Experts tell me hospitals are struggling here in particular because there just aren’t enough patients filling up their beds. And hospital financials, in particular, are still looking a bit peaked. Still, a quick check of some state statistics also tells me the industry is set to grow here, and it remains one of the fastest growing industries in the state (only internet service providers and a few others are expected to grow as much).

Health Care & Social Services – Projected Growth Growth Rate in Rhode Island, 2008 – 2018:
- Ambulatory Health Care Services – 19.0%
- Hospitals – 12.0%
- Nursing & Residential Care Facilities – 15.7%
- Social Assistance – 28.0%

(Data from the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training)

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