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Westerly Hospital Files For Receivership

No word on potential impact on partnership talks with Lawrence & Memorial Hospital

The Westerly Hospital will voluntarily file for receivership in a Rhode Island Superior Court.

According to The Westerly Sun, “The hospital's board of trustees voted unanimously Monday night after a three-hour meeting to voluntarily file for receivership. Charles S. Kinney, hospital president and CEO, recommended the action. The hospital plans to make the filing on Wednesday.”

On Tuesday, the Westerly Hospital Board Chairman William McKendree and Kinney sent out a and neighbors of the hospital announcing the receivership filing and explaining what the decision means for patients.

“There are no changes affecting patients,” the letter stated. “We remain fully open with the same staff an no change in the schedule of services or procedures. We continue to accept all health insurance as in the past.”

The letter explained the decision to enter into the Mastership type of receivership as a way to continue to provide quality patient care while dealing with the hospital’s financial troubles.

The Westerly Hospital has faced years of financial burdens and according to The Sun posted a $5.2 million operating loss for the 2011 fiscal year.

In August the announced plans to explore forming an alliance or partnership.

“We’ve been looking at a wide range of options to address these issues, including the previously announced exploration of a potential affiliation with other institutions,” McKendree and Kinney stated in their letter.

Although there was of the partnership earlier this year, the talks are now on hold.

"The entire dialogue with Westerly Hospital officials has been cordial, respectful and productive. We respect their right to make any decision – in this case, to file for receivership – which they deem to be in the best interest of the hospital and the community it serves," said Michael O'Farrell, spokesman for Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, in a statement today. "We wish them well as they proceed. At some future point, we may again consider resuming our discussions about a potential relationship between the two organizations.

"The talks are now on hold," O'Farrell added. "From this point on, we are obliged to step back while the court-appointed special master assumes responsibility for overseeing the Westerly Hospital and determining its future. Therefore, it is not be appropriate for us to speculate or comment further."

There is no timeline on how long Mastership will last.

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