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Despite Objections, Landmark Deal Moves Forward

Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein authorizes Special Master Jonathan Savage to move forward with purchase by Steward Health Care System.

Judge Michael Silverstein gave preliminary approval today for the purchase of Landmark Medical Center by Steward Health Care System of Boston, despite objections by a representative from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) and a representative from a new potential bidder, IJKG Opco, LLC.

The decision represents a major move forward for the struggling city hospital which has been in receivership for the past three years. 

Special Master Jonathan Savage for an emergency petition for instruction on an offer for between $62 million to $66 million by Steward, now the owner of Caritas Christi Healthcare, in a deal he described as "ideal."

Savage told Judge Silverstein that he wanted to move forward with the sale in spite of a call this morning from IJKG, Opco LLC of Bayonne, NJ  saying they would pay more. 

 "At this late stage, I would not be inclined to upset the apple cart," said Savage. "At this point, I feel it would add to the instability."

Additional objections were raised by Joseph Diorio, an attorney representing BCBSRI. Negotiations for Caritas Christi to purchase the facility were dropped last December when the hospital chain said they were unable to work out a deal with the insurer, which provides coverage for an estimated 20% of Landmark's patients.

"I don't know how we're going to be treated," said Diorio. The group filed an official objection with the court this morning calling the deal "materially different and inferior" to other offers for purchase of the facility. 

"There are very few hospitals in Rhode Island that can survive without Blue Cross," Silverstein replied, calling the company's interests "protected."

Christopher Callaci, counsel for United Nurses and Allied Professionals, who testified last week regarding the urgency of the situation and at the hospital, reiterated his statements this afternoon.   

"Since the news on Friday that Steward has emerged, hope has risen. I hope the court does authorize Mr. Savage to move forward," Callaci said.

Silverstein approved the transaction, which will now be reviewed by state regulators, a process expected to take from six to nine months.

Asked about the hospital chain's intentions for the facility, Bob Guyon, Chief Operating Officer for Steward replied, "In the 20 years that our system has been around, we have never left a hospital once we acquired it. We have been successful 100% of the time." 

Novan for Life June 01, 2011 at 12:56 AM
congrats for landmark the city of woonsocket needs this hospital to succeed it is an intergral part of this city what would the citizens of woonsocket do without landmark
john mondoux June 01, 2011 at 01:50 AM
drive 9miles in the free Rescue, ambulance or taxi cab like they do know.
Amber June 01, 2011 at 10:56 AM
Turning them into a for profit hospital isn't going to help them any because most people in this area can't afford health care which means most people won't even consider going to them!!! Plus from my own personal experience and my family's as well they tend to be inept and mediocre at best which is why if I ever need to go the emergency room I'll pay the extra fee and having them take me into Providence!!!! I won't even let them touch me again at Landmark!!!! I had a shattered foot they told me it was nothing and I almost lost my foot because of it, plus I had cancer and they told me it was just indigestion and unfortunatly it made treatment that much worse because by time a real doctor figured out what was happening to me it progressed and now I am left unable to ever have kids!!!! Yeah there is no love loss between me and those quacks at Landmark and I know many people who feel exactly as we do!!!!

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