Community voices fears about proposed YNHH acquisition of L&M

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OHCA’s public hearing about Yale-New Haven Health System’s plans to buy Lawrence & Memorial Monday in New London ran over 6 hours and had to be continued to later this month to finish. Public comment was split between those favoring the deal and others with concerns. A coalition of community groups, labor and consumer advocates, including the CT Health Policy Project, have been certified as intervenors. We are concerned that the deal will cement CT’s anti-competitive hospital/health system market driving up prices, lowering access to care, reducing consumer choice and undermining efforts to improve quality and value. The applicants have suggested that they will invest $300 million in the New London region, but won’t say how or where the money will come from, and they will make those decisions behind closed doors after the deal is done. Intervenors urged YNHH to use the transparent Community Health Needs Assessment process, required by the ACA, to develop a plan for that funding in partnership with the New London community. Research finds that monopolies drive up health care prices more than 15% – CT prices are already too high, and the state budget is too tight to withstand this.