Keeping Catholic Medical Center and Elliot Hospital, both in Manchester, N.H., fully independent would result in annual operating losses of about $25 million after five years, according to a new report by consulting firm Ernst & Young.
The two hospitals are part of Optima Healthcare, whose plans to consolidate acute-care services at Elliot have drawn fire from New Hampshire Attorney General Philip McLaughlin. He asked for the outside review this spring (Aug. 31, p. 60).
In late August, the Ernst & Young report on the financial effects of various consolidation scenarios was delivered to two special boards assembled early this summer. The report's findings support the proponents of acute-care consolidation.
The boards are expected to pass judgment on Optima's consolidation strategy later this fall.
Stressing the independence of the review, Optima President and Chief Executive Officer Douglas Dean Jr., said: "I hope the Ernst & Young study is helpful to the two special boards and the attorney general in developing responsible recommendations" about the ultimate mix of clinical services at the hospitals.