PROVIDENCE – The Senate approved President Dominick J. Ruggerio’s legislation to impose a one-year moratorium on hospital ownership transactions involving for-profit corporations.

The bill (S-2022 2610A) would amend the Hospital Conversion Act to require a one-year pause “on the conversion of any hospital governed by this act if the acquiree or acquirer is a for-profit corporation.”

The moratorium would provide the General Assembly and regulators with time to conduct a comprehensive review of for-profit hospital ownership, as well as its impact on hospital finances and the health care system as a whole.

“Any hospital transaction must improve care and protect Rhode Island’s patients, workers and communities. All Rhode Islanders deserve care that is accessible and affordable,” Ruggerio stated in a release. “In recent years, the widespread impact of Memorial Hospital’s closure, as well as questions surrounding the dependability and financial stability of for-profit ownership at other local institutions, including Fatima and Roger Williams, have demonstrated the need for vigilance. This legislation will ensure our state can comprehensively review the issue of for-profit hospital ownership and protect our network of hospitals, which is essential to the well-being of Rhode Islanders.”

The legislation was cosponsored by Senate Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey, Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin, Sen. Joshua Miller, Sen. Ryan W. Pearson, Sen. Hanna M. Gallo, and Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne.

The proposal will now be referred to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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