While the Clock was Ticking on the PawSox Mayor Grebien was Going to Bat to Re-Open Services at Memorial Hospital

While the Clock was Ticking on the PawSox Mayor Grebien was Going to Bat to Re-Open Services at Memorial Hospital

PAWTUCKET – While the House of Representatives was debating and coming to a vote on the Ballpark at Slater Mill project, Mayor Donald R. Grebien was urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to support two bills that would impact the potential re-opening or conversion of Memorial Hospital. This is the second time the Mayor has testified at the State House urging lawmakers to act to allow Memorial Hospital to return critical services to Pawtucket and the Blackstone Valley.

“The closure of Memorial Hospital continues to have a negative impact on the healthcare needs in the area from overloaded area emergency rooms to our emergency-medical staff and vehicles,” said Mayor Grebien. “We have a partner in CharterCare willing to step up and make a $10-million-dollar capital investment to the property and re-open emergency services. I urge this committee and the General Assembly to help make that happen.”

Senate bills 2953 and 2954 effect the hospital closure transaction act and alternative payment incentives for hospitals. If a closed hospital is purchased within two years of closure the purchasing hospital would allow the services that has been provided to continue under the new ownership, as well as a more streamlined regulatory approval process. In addition, the legislation creates a hospital payment structure to allow hospitals which meet certain criteria to be eligible for an enhanced commercial rate agreement with insurers. This new rate arrangement will help to fix the disparity in the rates that hospitals have been paid.

In April, CharterCare announced their intention to purchase and reopen Memorial Hospital’s emergency room, invest $10 million in capital improvements, and develop a phased-in approach to restore hospital services. Charter Care has presented an offer to Care New England for the facility.

The City expects to meet with Care New England, CharterCare and Blue Cross and Blue Shield to resolve these issues before legislative action is taken.

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