Steward Health Care-Landmark merger approved

A cross-state merger between Massachusetts giant Steward Health Care System and Rhode Island's Landmark Medical Center is moving forward, as Rhode Island Health Director Michael Fine on Tuesday approved the sale. The approval permits Steward Health Care to take control of Landmark and its subsidiary, the Rehabilitation Hospital of Rhode Island, the Providence Journal reported.

The acquisition now is in the hands of the attorney general to decide if the deal will go through in accordance with state law.

The for-profit hospital operator Steward Health Care has been under the public microscope for its interest in community hospitals, particularly eyeing Landmark.

The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) approved the Change in Effective Control application and the Hospital Conversions application, clearing a path for the merger, according to GoLocal Prov.

"In evaluating these applications, HEALTH was charged with considering the totality of the evidence, as well as the needs of the people of Woonsocket," Fine said, GoLocal Prov reported. "HEALTH staff worked hard to thoroughly review these applications quickly and efficiently to keep this process moving along. After extensive review of the evidence, HEALTH determined that Steward adequately met the criteria for approval of its applications."

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Peter Kilmartin said a decision is expected "shortly" on the deal, according to the Associated Press.

For more information:
- read the Providence Journal article
- here's the GoLocalProv article
- see the AP article

Related Articles:
Steward continues Massachusetts acquisitions
President of Steward hospital disputes his 'resignation'
Rhode Island may lift ban on for-profit hospital deals
Steward wants right to unlimited layoffs, cut services in hospital purchases
Steward backs bill to lift 3-year wait on RI hospital purchases