In a last minute move, Tenet Healthcare walked away from its bid to take over five of Connecticut’s nonprofit community hospitals.
Attorneys for the for-profit, national hospital chain sent a letter to the Commissioner of Public Health and Attorney General yesterday, which put an end to Tenet’s efforts to build a network the state. The withdrawal came less than a week before the state’s oversight authorities, Office of Health Care Access (OHCA) and Office of Attorney General (OAG), were due to finalize the conditions of the first take over deal involving Waterbury Hospital.
The requirements of OHCA and OAG reportedly were too much for Tenet to bear. Apparently, Tenet balked at putting into writing assurances they had made throughout the approval process, such as agreeing to not cut staff or increase prices for a set number of years. They also were uncomfortable with being subject to community input and accountability. In addition, they were unhappy with the OAG’s denial of their ability to access the charitable Waterbury Hospital Foundation’s funds for capital needs.
Although the dissolution of this deal is a disappointment to many, Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut sees this news as a strategic opportunity. Evaluating hospital deals one-by-one puts us in a position of missing the forest for the trees.
Instead, let’s step up and develop a full understanding of what Connecticut needs from its hospitals now and into the future. Only then can we build a road map to get where we need to be.