Lawrence & Memorial Hospital is hoping to speed up the process of purchasing Westerly Hospital with the completion of the necessary regulatory filings, which were completed last week.
Michael O'Farrell, spokesperson for L&M, said the Lawrence & Memorial Corporation completed the regulatory filings on Nov. 2. These are required by Rhode Island law to be submitted to the Rhode Island Department of Health and Rhode Island Attorney General's Office. An acquisition requires a change of effective control application and other filings under Rhode Island's Hospital Conversion Act.
O'Farrell said the applications were made under a new process that allows for an expedited review of the process. This would allow L&M to receive approval of the transaction within 90 days after the departments receive the completed applications.
“We are eager to move the process forward,” said Bruce D. Cummings, president and CEO of L&M, in a statement. “We are pleased that state officials agreed to consider this review on an expedited basis. I look forward to working with the regulators to advance the process as quickly as possible for the benefit of the community and the stability of the hospital.”
“The Westerly Hospital has been – and continues to be – a vital part of the greater Westerly-Pawcatuck community,” said Mark Russo, a special master overseeing Westerly Hospital's receivership process. “An expedited review will provide stability to all in the community – especially patients.”
Westerly Hospital filed for receivership in December of 2011. In August, Rhode Island Superior Court Associate Justice Brian Stern approved L&M's $69 million bid to acquire the assets of the hospital. This includes a five-year, $30 million capital improvement plan; assumption of Westerly Hospital's $22 million in debt; and $6.5 million in capital funds.
Russo said he is planning to complete the transaction in early 2013.