L&M hopes to invest, turn profit at Westerly Hospital

PROVIDENCE, RI – Connecticut's Lawrence and Memorial Hospital has cleared another hurdle in its acquisition of Westerly Hospital. The New London-based L&M has reached a deal on hospital payments from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island. And last week a Rhode Island Superior Court judge approved L&M's $69 million dollar bid. L&M spokesman Michael O'Farrell says the plan now is to address Westerly's pressing financial problems.

"What happens immediately? We continue along with what's been happening there with some influx of L&M management best practices that we discovered along the way to start to turn the tide a little bit," says O'Farrell, "because we believe we can make that hospital turn a 3% profit margin in three years."

O'Farrell says L&M has agreed to invest $30 million dollars in upgrading Westerly Hospital's technology and facilities. It's also agreed to maintain the clinical services Westerly currently provides for two years and to keep it a community-based non-profit for five. The deal still needs regulatory approval but is expected to wrap up this January.

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