YNHH and the Hospital of Saint Raphael become one

Yale-New Haven is now among the largest hospitals in the nation

Marna Borgstrom and Christopher O'Connor sign the final agreement to make official the integration between the two New Haven-based hospitals.

On September 11, in a historic ceremony, officials from Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Hospital of Saint Raphael signed the final documents. Hours later, at 12:01 a.m., the two hospitals became one single 1,519-bed institution with two main campuses.

“We are delighted that with all of the necessary approvals and due diligence behind us, we can begin the important work of integrating these two great hospitals,” said Marna P. Borgstrom, chief executive officer of Yale-New Haven Hospital. “We believe that as one unified hospital, we’ll be able to enhance access to high-quality health care resources in a more cost-effective manner. This integration will be critical to meeting the extraordinary health care challenges that lie ahead.”

The integration will allow YNHH to provide the region with more coordinated care, to reduce redundancy of clinical services and financial investments and to become more efficient. It also gives YNHH 511 much-needed beds and provides financial stability for the HSR campus. While volume at most Connecticut hospitals has been flat or declining over the past several years, YNHH has seen an increase, resulting in significant capacity constraints. The acquisition allows YNHH to avoid an estimated $650 million investment in a new patient tower to address these constraints.

The transaction allows HSR to preserve a deeply rooted legacy as an exceptional care provider and honor its traditions, while also taking on the future as part of a nationally recognized academic medical center.

Opportunities for both hospitals

“For the Hospital of Saint Raphael, the integration represents an opportunity to assure financial stability in an uncertain time. Proceeds from the $160 million transaction will allow the hospital to pay off its debt and will help address its pension liabilities,” said Christopher O’Connor, HSR president and CEO. “We are intent on making this integration go as smoothly as possible for our patients, our employees, physicians and the community. This represents a Connecticut solution to a Connecticut challenge.”

To better prepare for the 21st century health care landscape, HSR leaders began discussions with potential partners two years ago, including both state and national hospitals and systems; Catholic and secular, for-profit and not-for-profit companies. In March 2011, the two hospitals signed a letter of intent to explore integration, followed by a definitive agreement in September, in which YNHH agreed to purchase HSR’s assets, to invest in HSR buildings and technology, and to honor HSR’s Catholic heritage at that campus. The Sister Anne Virginie Grimes Health Center, Saint Raphael’s 125-bed skilled nursing and short-term rehabilitation facility, is also being acquired as part of the transaction.

Both hospitals worked for the past year to minimize job losses by keeping vacant positions open and managing attrition. About 3,400 HSR employees are transitioning to positions in the Yale New Haven Health System. Additionally, 400 members of the HSR medical staff have been newly credentialed as members of the YNHH medical staff.

“The integration has the opportunity to increase quality outcomes and provide better access to the entire continuum of care for patients,” said Peter N. Herbert, MD, YNHH chief of staff and senior vice president of medical affairs. “Care will be better coordinated as clinical information and data will be accessible to all patients and providers though a new, state-of-the-art integrated electronic health record system.”

For more information about the HSR acquisition, visit the Yale-New Haven Hospital Healthier Together website.

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September 11 press conference: Yale-New Haven and Saint Raphael’s hospitals become one

Press conference at which Yale-New Haven Hospital and Saint Raphael's officials signed official documents.