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Nutmeg State’s small-hospital nightmare

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Hartford Courant columnist Kevin Rennie writes well about the difficulties of Connecticut’s community hospitals. Residents are used to living close to these institutions and not that far from a couple of  major regional ones, too, especially Yale New Haven and Hartford Hospital.

But the little  hospitals are under much stress from, as he notes, longevity, industry consolidations, advances in medical technology and dramatic changes in payments for services.

And the trend of “inadequate Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements will continue. Almost every time the hospitals make cost reductions to meet lower reimbursement rates, the rates get lower again.”

Thus Waterbury Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital, in Waterbury, Bristol Hospital, Manchester Memorial Hospital and Rockville General Hospital, all nonprofits, are imperiled.

Meanwhile, political, ideological and regulatory pressures have repelled such out-of-state for-profit hospital chains as Tenet that could save some or all of these little hospitals if they’d buy them.

 Something gotta give!




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