Application for purchase of Woonsocket's Landmark hospital deemed complete

Application for purchase of Woonsocket's Landmark hospital deemed complete

WOONSOCKET – Days after Mayor Leo Fontaine accused regulators of "foot dragging"in an appeal to Gov. Lincoln Chafee, Prime Health Services has cleared another hurdle in the quest to purchase Landmark Medical Center.

The Rhode Island Office of Attorney General and the Rhode Island Department of Health announced on Friday, June 28 that the application to purchase the struggling city hospital was deemed complete.

The sale is subject to extensive state scrutiny under the Hospital Conversion Act and in March, the process was suspended after regulators determined that the parties had not provided enough information within the required timeframe. Several potential buyers have shown interest in purchasing the hospital, and even submitted HCA applications to state regulators, but the proposals were ultimately abandoned. Landmark has been in receivership since 2008.

Fontaine urged Chafee to take action last week, pointing out that the passage of time continues to undermine the hospital's financial integrity. Amy Kempe, a spokesperson for the Office of the Attorney General shot back at Fontaine, saying that "political expediency by him will not short circuit the common law and statutory duties of the regulators," in an statement to the press.

According to HCA; RIAG and HEALTH now have 120 days, commencing July 1, to review and evaluate the application to determine if the transaction may go forward. The application for Landmark's sister facility, the Rehabilitation Hospital of Rhode Island, also made it through the first step in the review process.

Both applications will be heard before the Health Services Council, but those meetings have yet to be scheduled.