These are gut-wrenching times for Hudson Valley local hospitals. The urgent need for consolidation of cornerstone economic institutions assembled over a century or more on a community foundation is no easy concept for those in charge of their destinies to cope with, as those in charge of their destinies are well aware. But cope they must. In the next few years, virtually all the hospitals in the region are expected to align with other hospitals and other healthcare entities, such as insurers, doctors’ groups and outpatient facilities.
The big story in the world of Hudson Valley healthcare this month was the sale for $27 million plus other considerations and assurances of the Poughkeepsie-based St. Francis Hospitals and Health Centers, estimated to be $50 million in debt, to Westchester Medical Center. After a series of rapid-fire developments that favored Westchester Medical, Health Quest, the other competitor, withdrew. In deciding to withdraw from the bidding process, Health Quest’s board blamed “intervention by state and federal regulatory authorities.”