After a year of talks, a problematic proposed hospital merger in Waterbury, CT, is off the table. This proposed deal involved a for-profit partner – LHP Hospital Group -- out of Texas that originally approached St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, a Catholic facility owned by the local diocese. When officials of the only other hospital in Waterbury – secular Waterbury Hospital -- heard about the talks, they asked to join. The new deal would have culminated with the building of a replacement hospital in 5 years. Even though LHP would have owned 80 percent and Waterbury and St. Mary’s would each own just 10 percent, the joint venture’s new facility would have been operated under the Catholic Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs).
We are celebrating with screenings of our new film! Our anniversary film features three of our key hospital merger cases in Kingston, NY; Troy, NY and Sierra Vista, AZ. The film captures how MergerWatch staff work with health care providers, community activists, hospital board members and women's health advocates to protect patients' rights when religious and secular hospitals are proposing to merge.
MergerWatch is celebrating the defeat of a proposed joint venture between Abington Memorial Hospital and Holy Redeemer, a neighboring Catholic hospital in Abington, PA. At the end of June, the hospital boards announced plans to explore the possibility of a partnership as part of a strategic long-term plan. However, the community and medical staff were alarmed by Abington Memorial’s agreement to discontinue providing abortions at the request of Holy Redeemer. Public outcry was swift and highly visible.
Updated on Monday, June 25, 2012 at 09:17AM by MW Editor
Officials of Waterbury, CT, couldn’t believe their luck last summer when for-profit LHP Hospital Group came to town with a promise to partner with the town’s two struggling hospitals and replace both with a new medical center. LHP would own 80% of the joint venture, while non-sectarian Waterbury Hospital and Catholic-affiliated St. Mary’s Hospital would each own a 10% share. However, an agreement with St. Mary’s that the new $400 million hospital operate under the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Service would mean a ban on key reproductive services like tubal ligations, vasectomies and contraceptive counseling and services, putting local access to these health services in jeopardy.
Catholic hospitals should be expected to provide contraceptive coverage for their employees, and should not be given a religious employer exemption from the new coverage requirement, MergerWatch said in comments submitted this week to the Department of Health and Human Services. The Catholic Health Association, reversing an early position, is demanding that the Obama administration exempt Catholic hospitals, arguing that these hospitals are ministries of the Catholic Church.