Mar 13, 2014
07:22 AMHealth & Science
House Speaker Wants Rules for Connecticut Hospitals Going to For-Profit
Mara Lavitt/New Haven Register
New Haven House Speaker Brendan Sharkey of Hamden speaks to the New Haven Register editorial board March 12.
House Speaker Brendan Sharkey doesn’t favor approving only an interim solution to the issue of nonprofit hospitals converting to for-profit networks in Connecticut.
“On the issue of hospital conversions, I am very concerned that we must act this year, this session, on guidelines for determining how these conversions take place because the world in this area is changing so dramatically that if we wait until next session, if we spend too much time thinking about it, task forcing it ... the world will be completely different a year from now,” Sharkey said.
The immediate issue is a takeover of Waterbury Hospital by the Tenet Healthcare Corp., the second largest healthcare network in the country, although Bristol Hospital and the Eastern Connecticut Health Network are not far behind in developing a relationship with Tenet.
Without an infusion of cash from Tenet, it is unknown how long Waterbury Hospital can survive on its own.
Yale New Haven Health System has proposed a solution to getting around a state law that does not allow for-profit hospitals to hire doctors directly. Nonprofit hospitals can hire practicioners through a medical foundation and the Yale New Haven Health System has offered to do this for Tenet.
Sharkey, D-Hamden, in a discussion with the Register’s editorial board, said he wants a flexible set of rules that will allow for networks of in-state facilities over out-of-state owners and don’t tie up Connecticut hospitals in layers of regulations.