hospitals

Lifespan

The state’s largest hospital network is making another attempt to trim nearly $150 million in expenses over the next two and a half years. Lifespan has announced another round of layoffs.

You may have heard news yesterday that the federal government has released a greater level of detail on the prices hospitals charge for a list of common procedures and how widely those prices vary - not only from state to state but within states, and  even within the same city. The data comes from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (or CMS), from 3000 hospitals nationwide.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Westerly Hospital will lay off 45 employees, just before its sale to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London, CT is completed.

Westerly’s new owners struck deals with hospital unions early on during acquisition talks. They agreed to keep most clinical positions. The 45 lay-offs don’t conflict with those commitments.

15 of the employees losing their jobs are unionized support staff. The rest are mainly from Westerly’s business office. Those functions will be consolidated at L&M’s headquarters in Connecticut.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island regulators have given their final approval for the sale of Westerly Hospital to the New London-based Lawrence & Memorial Hospital.

The head of Rhode Island’s Department of Health and the state's Attorney General have signed off on the deal to sell Westerly to L&M. Now, the deal is expected to close June first. Westerly Hospital has been in receivership since 2011 and under the leadership of a special master. L&M spokesman Michael O’Farrell says the special master will stay on through the closing date.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A new program has launched to help place new and unemployed nurses in health care facilities statewide for up to nine-month-long paid residencies. It's expected to start with 20 nurses and expand to 40 by the second year, with the first placements beginning this fall.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

How many hospital beds does Rhode Island really need?

That’s one question being considered in a new report from a state health care planning council. It comes at a time when a number of hospitals in the state are either up for sale, looking at new partnerships or struggling financially.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s health care reporter Kristin Gourlay joined Elisabeth Harrison in the studio to talk about the health of the state’s hospitals and some of the surprising findings from this report.

US Navy

Rhode Island could do with the equivalent of one fewer hospital. That’s the conclusion of a draft report meant to guide the state’s health care planning.

The state’s largest hospital system is facing some unanticipated budget shortfalls. Lifespan isn’t saying yet whether the fix will include layoffs.

Lifespan released a statement saying it had asked employees and physicians to review their budgets and look for ways to trim expenses. No word yet on what immediate steps the organization might take to stem the financial losses - but Lifespan says they won’t compromise patient care and that they’ll "work hard to minimize the impact on...employees."

CharterCARE, the umbrella organization for Our Lady of Fatima and Roger Williams hospitals, has announced its intent to partner with Prospect Medical Holdings, a for-profit health care firm based in California. The deal is in its infancy. But it's the fourth proposed hospital merger/acquisition under Rhode Islands Hospital Conversions Act. And it's yet another sign of the shaky financial ground on which many of the state's hospitals now find themselves.

Here's a new online tool to help you decide: www.hospitalinspections.org.

Rhode Island Sen. Josh Miller has introduced a wide-ranging health care reform bill he hopes will give consumers more information about the costs and quality of the care they receive.

Miller’s bill tries to tackle several major health care reform goals the state has been moving towards in one package. It includes strategies to rein in health care costs and boost consumer access to information about those costs.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Rhode Island officials say Prime Healthcare’s application to buy Landmark Medical Center is incomplete.

The Rhode Island attorney general’s office and the Department of Health are telling Landmark and its suitor, Prime Healthcare, that Prime’s initial application to buy the struggling hospital is missing "a significant amount of information."

Westerly Hospital is another step closer to being acquired by New London-based L&M Hospital.

Rhode Island’s department of health and the attorney general’s office say they’ve received a complete application from L&M. The state agencies now have 90 days to review it. If they accept L&M’s offer, Westerly could be the first hospital acquired under the state’s new Hospital Conversions Act.

If you've got the flu, it's bad. Awfully bad. But is this season any worse than unusual? Are hospitals really being overwhelmed by "skyrocketing" cases in an unprecedented outbreak?

Memorial Hospital is set to join Care New England, one of Rhode Island’s multi-hospital health care systems.

The two institutions signed an affiliation agreement but must receive further state and federal regulatory approvals before their partnership is official.

The organizations said in a statement today that the affiliation would help reduce overall operational costs and improve patient access to a range of health care services across the network.

Memorial joins Care New England’s three other Rhode Island hospitals, including Kent, Butler, and Women and Infants.

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