Montefiore Buying Sound Shore Hospital. According to the PR release Sound Shore Health System (“SSHS”) announced today it has entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement with Montefiore Health System for Montefiore to acquire its assets. The transaction, which is expected to close by the end of this year, subject to Bankruptcy Court and regulatory approval, will enable Montefiore to continue, and enhance, the provision of care at Sound Shore and Mount Vernon Hospitals as well as at the Schaffer Extended Care Center.
Earlier in May, negotiations between Westchester Medical Center and the Sound Shore Health System broke off after Westchester Medical ended the merger talks.
Sound Shore system was facing a $3 million to $5 million year-end loss when talks with Westchester Medical began late 2012.
Westchester Medical Ceneter has been in the news in recent years embattled with insurance carrier stand-offs. The first was with Empire Blue Cross in Nov 2010 which had been resolved but not with Oxford Health Plans which had terminated its contract in May 2012.
While the move was necessary and Sound Shore Hospital is certainly better off now than some hospitals such as Interfaith Hospital which declared bankruptcy recently.
Still, there are concerns of Hospital and Provider consolidations changing the market place. The Hospital will possibly be transitioned into an ambulatory/multi-specialty center/urgent care center.
Urgent Care have been the good news in bending of the health care cost curve. Approximately 45% of acuities in a hospital ER can be done at an Urgent Care Center. Urgent Care Centers will be filling in the gap between regular family doctors and sitting in an ER. Cost of Urgent Care are up to half of ER. The patient also avoids high ER copays that average $200 aside form possible high in-network deductible. Yet if the Hospital indeed transitions to ambulatory surgery/multi speciality Westchester Hospital available area-hospital beds may further be reduced.
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