OHS Conditions Approval of Hartford Healthcare Certificate of Need Applications to Acquire St. Vincent's
(HARTFORD, CT) – Connecticut Office of Health Strategy (OHS) Executive Director Vicki Veltri announced today that the Certificate of Need applications for SVMC Holdings, Inc., a newly formed subsidiary of Hartford HealthCare (HHC), to acquire St. Vincent’s Medical Center and St. Vincent’s Multispecialty Group has been approved with conditions to ensure continued access to high-quality and affordable healthcare.
Veltri said, “Healthcare is a fundamental right—it must be high-quality, accessible, and affordable for individuals and our business community. Unfortunately, here in Connecticut and across the nation we see the high cost of care outpace what consumers can afford. The HHC approval contains a cost cap tied to the consumer price index as well as other initiatives to keep costs in check and improve the value of healthcare for St. Vincent’s patients. All of us have a responsibility here—regulators, consumers, providers, and payers, to contain costs and keep healthcare accessible.”
The approval brings the 473-bed community teaching hospital in Bridgeport and regional St. Vincent’s Multispecialty Group practices under the HHC System which includes Hartford Hospital; the Hospital of Central Connecticut; William Backus Hospital; MidState Medical Center; Charlotte Hungerford Hospital; and Hartford HealthCare Medical Group.
The acquisition will expand access to primary and specialty care services in the region; provide new technology and equipment; enhance physician recruitment/retention; and expand community benefit programs. Hartford HealthCare will make $135 million in capital investments over a seven-year period to upgrade information technology, facilities, and equipment, and they will expand ambulatory care in the St. Vincent’s service area.
Under Connecticut General Statute § 19a-639(a), the agreement sets forth a number of requirements that the Hartford HealthCare subsidiary SVMC Holdings, Inc. must meet including:
- Complying with a cost growth cap applied to SVMC Holdings, Inc., that limits cost growth to whichever is lower, the consumer price index plus one percent or three percent;
- Increasing participation in Alternative Payment Models in which Hartford HealthCare System physicians are accountable for quality and cost of care;
- Accountability for excessive year-to-year price increases for services that OHS identifies using the state’s All Payer Claims Database;
- Notifying OHS of any significant change to the charity care policy that could adversely affect consumer costs or access;
- Conducting a 2021 Community Health Needs Assessment with implementation strategies and tying that to the Community Benefits Program; and
- Promoting community-building by applying at minimum a one percent increase to the community benefit program each year over five years, holding twice-yearly community meetings; and appointing a community member to the SVMC Holdings, Inc., hospital board.
The new hospital will hire an independent monitor chosen by OHS to serve for a minimum of three years who will conduct on-site visits and report on agreement compliance.
Pursuant to multiple sections of the General Statutes, OHS leads the Health Systems Planning Unit that administers the Certificate of Need program—a regulatory responsibility to promote statewide health facility and service development and monitor the impact of provider acquisitions and consolidations on the communities they serve.
All documents related to this CON application and the related group practice application can be found in the OHS CON Portal under Dockets # 18-32271 and 18-32272. Click on the blue filter icon next to ‘docket number’, type 32271 or 32272 in the first box, then click ‘filter’.
Contact: Juliet Manalan
Communications Director, Connecticut Office of Health Strategy
450 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106