Yale New Haven Health signs to acquire Connecticut systems from Prospect Medical Holdings

Yale New Haven Health has signed an agreement to acquire two Connecticut health systems, Waterbury HEALTH and Eastern Connecticut Health Network), from Prospect Medical Holdings.

The deal would give Connecticut’s largest health system the businesses, real estate, physician clinic operations and outpatient services of three hospitals: 357-bed Waterbury Hospital, 249-bed Manchester Memorial Hospital and 102-bed Rockville General Hospital. Also included are Prospect Provider Group of Connecticut and Visiting Nurse and Health Services of Connecticut, according to a release.

Yale New Haven Health (YNHHS) and Prospect had signed a letter of intent to explore the sale in February, which now requires regulatory sign-offs. The organizations said they plan to file a Certificate of Need with the state this fall. 

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Now more than ever, it’s critical for us to find ways to creatively sustain local access to high-quality care,” Christopher O’Connor, president and CEO of YNHHS, said in a statement. “This transaction offers unique advantages to the residents of the communities served and allow for continued patient access to critical healthcare services while being strengthened by the quality-of-care YNHHS is known for nationally.”

YNHHS currently has five hospitals, numerous specialty networks and hundreds of physicians employed across the nonprofit’s hospitals and community locations.

Waterbury HEALTH and ECHN comprise roughly 4,400 employees, according to the announcement. YNHHS said it’s planning an affiliation of the systems’ hospitals similar to its arrangements with Greenwich and Bridgeport Hospitals and Lawrence + Memorial Health.

The systems would also transition back to their nonprofit status should the deal go through.

“Waterbury Hospital is deeply committed to caring for our communities and adapting to the rapidly evolving healthcare landscape," Justin Lundbye, M.D., president and CEO of Waterbury HEALTH, said in a statement. "Along with ECHN, we are proud of what we’ve accomplished, including investing millions of dollars in our communities, preserving jobs, increasing quality ratings, and being leaders in Connecticut’s response to the pandemic.  We are confident YNHHS will continue this legacy.”

The Connecticut Office of Health Strategy and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, have both said they are wary of “troubling” consolidation across Connecticut’s healthcare landscape, which critics say can lead to higher costs for consumers.

“I urge the Office of Health Strategy to carefully and critically review the impact of this transaction on consumer choice, prices and the level of care provided,” the senator said in a statement to reporters cited by Connecticut Public Radio.