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October 20, 2019Cart

Business

by Fairfield County Business Journal
by FCBJ

Bridgeport Hospital moving ahead with plans to absorb Milford Hospital

Yale New Haven Health, Bridgeport Hospital and Milford Hospital’s boards of trustees have voted to proceed with the acquisition of Milford Hospital by Bridgeport Hospital.

With those board approvals, the organizations have signed an asset purchase agreement and will file for regulatory review of the transaction.

Milford Hospital. Photo courtesy of the organization’s Facebook account.

The announcement follows initial discussions among Bridgeport, its parent organization Yale New Haven Health, and Milford, first reported in June.

In 2014, in the midst of what it called “significant financial headwinds,” Milford Hospital developed a collaborative relationship with both Yale New Haven Health and Bridgeport Hospital to house their respective inpatient rehabilitation units. As a result, Milford experienced strong demand for those specific services as well as what it said were “exceptionally high quality and patient satisfaction rates.

“However,” the hospital added, “the need for a broader relationship became apparent as financial performance continued to be challenged by the existing health care environment.”

Earlier this year, the Milford Hospital board appointed independent management and advisory firm ToneyKorf Partners LLC to develop a plan that would sustain the operations of the hospital as it considered long-term options, including the potential integration with Bridgeport Hospital.

“These are challenging times for community-based hospitals in Connecticut and throughout the country,” said Mark Toney, chief restructuring officer of Milford Hospital. “Yet despite the pressures facing Milford Hospital, it is readily apparent that the community strongly supports this organization and the employees who work here.

“The commitment of the Milford Hospital team to high-quality health care is unwavering and the passion for each other as fellow team members is inspiring,” Toney added. “In working with Yale New Haven Health and Bridgeport Hospital, we believe that Milford Hospital can now develop a sustainable model for the future.”

Under the agreement, current Milford Hospital employees – including those represented by organized labor – would become employees of Bridgeport Hospital, which has agreed to recognize all existing labor relationships.

“While there is clearly more work to do, we are confident that by working together we can help Milford Hospital better serve the community by becoming part of Yale New Haven Health through Bridgeport Hospital,” said YNHH President Richard D’Aquila. “We fully believe that we can achieve our mutual goal of securing a positive future for the hospital and the broader community.”

As the regulatory process moves forward in the months ahead, Milford will continue to operate as a separate organization.

The latest announcement comes just three days after Bridgeport announced that William Jennings, its president and CEO and Yale New Haven Health executive vice president, was leaving to join Reading (Pennsylvania) Hospital as its president and CEO, effective Oct. 15. Michael Ivy, Bridgeport’s chief medical officer since 2012 and deputy CMO of Yale New Haven Health since 2016, was named interim CEO.