Gov. signs bill allowing Tenet to acquire Waterbury Hospital

Governor Dannel Malloy today signed into law legislation that resolves the corporate practice of medicine issue that has held up the potential transaction of the Greater Waterbury Health Network (GWHN) and Tenet Healthcare since the summer of 2013. This legislation includes new regulatory requirements for hospital mergers, hospital conversions to for-profit entities, and medical practices acquisitions (PA 14-168/SB 35 An Act Concerning Notice Of Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Affiliations Of Group Medical Practices And Hospital Admissions, Medical Foundations And Certificates Of Need). The issues addressed by the new law had been the subject of debate throughout the past year and one of the top issues of the General Assembly's 2014 session.

"We are extremely grateful to the Governor and the leadership in his office, the Greater Waterbury Legislative Delegation, Mayor Neil O'Leary, and all members of the legislature for the hard work and negotiations that were conducted during the legislative session," said Darlene Stromstad, Greater Waterbury Health Network President and CEO. "With this law in place, Waterbury Hospital can now move forward on our proposed Joint Venture with Tenet Healthcare. This is a critical time in the history of healthcare, both nationally and here in Connecticut. While it's been a long year, we all understand the need to be thorough and mindful of the long-term implications of the changes we are facing."

"Our goal all along has been to ensure that high quality, sustainable healthcare is available to the people of Greater Waterbury long into the future," said GWHN board of directors chairman Carl Contadini. "This partnership with Tenet Healthcare strengthens our ability to grow to meet the dynamic needs of our community."

The next step is for GWHN's Certificate of Need/Conversion application to make its way through the regulatory process which will include public hearings and further analysis of the Joint Venture.

Stromstad said the organization is hopeful that the transaction will be complete by the end of the year.

(Image: David Bigham)