Yale New Haven Health/L+M Hospital decision has been rendered… and now the work begins

By Stephanye R. Clarke

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The state gave the green light for the proposed affiliation between Yale New Haven Health (Yale), Connecticut’s largest health care system and Lawrence + Memorial (L+M) earlier this month.

As a reminder, back in February  of this year, the governor issued an executive order, in which he effectively halted decisions being rendered by the Office of Health Care Access (OHCA) on proposed consolidations until January 2017. No one saw that coming! Then in May, OHCA deemed the Yale/L+M application complete and scheduled a public hearing. This hearing was so lengthy that it was continued to a second hearing a couple weeks later, followed by a waiting game.

And then it happened: an announcement came September 7 that the governor issued an amended Executive Order, in which he granted the newly-formed Certificate of Need Task Force some additional time to make recommendations. This amended order also seemed to create a pathway for the Yale/L+M deal to proceed—and proceed it did. OHCA’s final decision was announced the next day, September 8.

As a member of the community served by L+M, I was happy to see that an Independent Monitor will be assigned to oversee the transition; and that quite a bit of reporting will need to be done, including public meetings with community residents.

However, there are still some areas of concern, including:

  • making sure that patients continue to receive quality, affordable care;
  • patients continue to have local access to services they need; and
  • that the overall health of the communities served by L+M improves by way of a meaningful investment in the implementation of the Community Health Improvement Plan.

I’ll still be watching. We all will.

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