Lawrence & Memorial Hospital of New London, Conn., and Westerly (R.I.) Hospital are exploring a merger and have entered into an exclusive nonbinding letter of intent.
Lawrence, Westerly sign nonbinding letter
The boards and administration from the two hospitals began talks about a merger or affiliation about two months ago. Officials on Wednesday said they'll take about four more months to ponder what type of an alliance—if any—best serves them.
The two hospitals overlap in offering services to eastern Connecticut and Rhode Island. Westerly officials said they've been searching for a partner for about four years.
“In these challenging times, and given the enormous changes being thrust upon hospitals, it's increasingly common for hospitals to explore opportunities to lower costs and enhance patient care through new organizational models and new inter-organizational relationships,” said Bruce Cummings, president and CEO of Lawrence & Memorial, in a news release.
Lawrence & Memorial is a 252-bed facility with 400 doctors caring for patients in eastern Connecticut, western Rhode Island and Fishers Island, N.Y. Westerly is a 100-bed hospital with 135 primary-care and specialty doctors offering services in Washington, R.I. and New London.
“The time to look for a strategic partner is when you are in a position of strength and can bring value to a new organization,” said Charles Kinney, president and CEO of Westerly.
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