Rhode Island’s health director has ordered Care New England Health System to pay a half-million dollars a year to the cities of Pawtucket and Central Falls for costs associated with transporting patients to area hospitals following this month's closure of Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket.
The annual payments -- $300,000 to Pawtucket and $200,000 to Central Falls -- are among the conditions laid out in decision signed Friday by Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott approving the hospital group's request to end primary care services under Memorial’s license. The first payment is due January 30.
Memorial’s emergency room closed Jan. 1, but Care New England has continued to provide primary and specialty care services under a temporary licensing arrangement with Kent Hospital in Warwick. The licensing change requires permission from the state health director.
Alexander-Scott’s approval of the licensing change requires Care New England to continue to provide primary care services -- with no reduction in services, hours of operation or staffing levels -- at its family care and internal medicine centers in Pawtucket under Kent Hospital's license.
Care New England also must pay for the cost of monitoring its compliance with the director's conditional approval for three years.
Rhode Island’s second-largest health system announced earlier this week that it has signed a “definitive agreement” to sell its hospital network to Massachusetts-based Partners Health Care.
Care New England owns Women & Infants, Butler and Kent Hospitals.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the date of Memorial's emergency department closure.