PROVIDENCE, RI – Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (Blue Cross) and Lawrence + Memorial Healthcare (L+M), the non-profit company that has been approved to purchase Westerly Hospital, today announced that they have successfully negotiated a one year contract for services at Westerly Hospital. The contract was approved late last week by the Mastership Court when L+M was approved to become the new owner of Westerly Hospital.
“We are very pleased with the outcome of our negotiations with L+M and the signed contract, which helped facilitate the purchase of Westerly Hospital,” said Peter Andruszkiewicz, president and chief executive officer for Blue Cross. “After getting acquainted during the negotiations, we determined that Blue Cross and L+M were aligned in the desire to partner on improving efficiency and moderating the long-term cost of healthcare for Rhode Islanders. A great example of this is L+M’s commitment to quickly introduce a transitions of care program to Westerly Hospital to assure that patient care is coordinated with community physicians following a hospital stay. We look forward to working with L+M as we strive to build partnerships that will transform the healthcare delivery system in Rhode Island and ensure that residents of the Westerly community are able to receive the high quality care they deserve.”
“L+M is pleased that, with Blue Cross’ cooperation, an agreement has been reached on a contract,” said Bruce D. Cummings, L+M Hospital president and chief executive officer. “Now that the Mastership Court has approved L+M to acquire Westerly Hospital, we will look forward to working collaboratively in the future.”
“I was very impressed by the respect and professionalism with which the negotiating teams carried out their work,” said Mark Russo, special master for Westerly Hospital. “Negotiations are never easy—especially against the backdrop of a limited timeframe within which they had to be completed—but the parties were quick to recognize the importance of reaching an agreement to assure continued access to healthcare services by Westerly area residents and to continue the significant momentum at Westerly Hospital.”
While Westerly Hospital has focused on a number of quality measures over the years, this agreement introduces L+M into the Blue Cross Hospital Quality program, whereby Westerly Hospital will continue to be measured and rewarded based on how well they coordinate care with the surrounding physician community. The agreement is fully consistent with the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner’s (OHIC) payment reform terms that were first set in July 2010. Those conditions include efficiency-based units of payment for services, an annual maximum payment increase for services based on Medicare’s calculation, quality incentives based on national standards, and administrative efficiency standards.
Lawrence + Memorial is a not-for-profit, general, acute care, private hospital that has been serving this region since 1912. The hospital is licensed for 280 beds and provides patient care to medical, surgical, pediatric, rehab, psychiatric and obstetrical patients.
About Blue Cross
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state’s leading health insurer and covers more than 600,000 members. The company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit BCBSRI.com and follow us on Twitter @BCBSRI.