A fifth hospital in Connecticut has announced plans to give up its not-for-profit status, and join the for-profit Tenet Healthcare group.
St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury will be acquired by Tenet, a company that operates 79 acute care hospitals and almost 189 outpatient centers in 16 states. It’s Tenet’s second such deal in the city.
Tenet is also seeking to acquire a majority stake in Waterbury Hospital, and it is in talks with Bristol Hospital and with the Eastern Connecticut Health Network, which includes Manchester Memorial and Rockville General.
St. Mary’s said it has been looking for such a partnership for four years. In 2012, both Waterbury hospitals almost merged with the LHP Hospital Group, but the deal failed to go through.
St. Mary’s CEO Chad Wable said he is confident this is now the right choice. "Health care is changing rapidly," he said in a video released on the hospital's website. "We believe being part of a regional network of hospitals positions us very well for the future. Having the Tenet network of hospitals behind us will help to achieve our shared vision for a better local health care system."
Tenet said that St. Mary’s will be allowed to continue to honor its Catholic heritage, and it will also provide the same level of charity and uncompensated care as it does now.
The deal was facilitated by a bill that passed the legislature this year aimed at making it easier for non-profit hospitals to convert to for-profit status. Governor Dannel Malloy signed that legislation, after vetoing a similar bill last year. He issued a statement on the Tenet acquisition, saying it is now a top priority to ensure that local residents continue to have access to the health care services they need.