Westerly Hospital’s parent company, Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, is pursuing an affiliation with a bigger organization: Yale New Haven Health System. The deal could bring in millions of dollars from Yale-New Haven.
Connecticut-based L&M acquired Westerly Hospital a little more than two years ago. And since then, consolidation and competition in the health care marketplace have only ramped up. Yale New Haven Health System is a bigger fish in this regional pond, with three hospitals and about $3.4 billion dollars in revenue.
L&M spokesman Michael O’Farrell says that if regulators approve the affiliation of their two systems, “Yale New Haven Health System will invest $300 million dollars in eastern Connecticut and western Rhode Island."
O’Farrell says that would go toward an electronic medical record system and updates for some clinical facilities. He expects the deal to conclude within a year.
O'Farrell emphasizes that this is a proposed affiliation, not a merger or acquisition. What does that mean?
“Westerly Hospital still exists as it does now. It still has its same staff, and board of directors," says O'Farrell. The union contracts still hold. "And it’s just part of another system. In effect, Westerly has a grandparent, if this goes through.” A grandparent, to be sure, with deeper pockets.
The news comes as Lifespan and Care New England, Rhode Island's two biggest health care systems, explore their own possible affiliation.