Last night, Connecticut legislators passed a measure that makes it easier for non-profit hospitals to convert to for-profits; it also adds state oversight to hospital sales and transactions involving physician practices. The bill now heads to Governor Dannel P. Malloy to be signed.
The bill makes changes in three key areas: it removes a barrier in existing law that makes it difficult for for-profit hospital to operate in Connecticut; it expands state oversight on the sale of non-profit hospitals; and it gives the state more oversight over transactions involving physician practices. The bill changes state law to allow for-profits to establish medical foundations. In order for a sale to approved, the public health commissioner would determine whether the affected community will have continued access to high quality and affordable healthcare. In addition, the hospital and purchaser would be required to hold a public hearing in the town or city where the hospital is located, and the health commissioner and attorney general would be allowed to place conditions on the approval of the sale.
The bill also gives the state new authority over transactions involving physician practices. Specifically, physician practices with eight or more full-time physicians would need to get state approval if they want to transfer ownership to a hospital or another organization.
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