Legislators meet with hospital officials

Welch.Betts.Piscopo.Dr.Bristol Hospital.4.2.14State Senator Jason Welch (R-Bristol), and State Representatives Whit Betts (R-Bristol) and John Piscopo (R-Burlington, Thomaston) welcomed Bristol Hospital Chairwoman Marie O’Brien and CEO Kurt Barwis to the state capitol recently.

The group met for a breakfast meeting and talked about why the community hospital should be allowed to partner with Tenet Health Care Company, a Texas-based for-profit corporation listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

“This proposal is absolutely the best course to follow if Bristol wants a financially strong community hospital that will offer the best quality medical care for present and future generations of families who live in Bristol and the surrounding communities,” said Betts, according to a Republic press release.

“I commend BristolHospital for their forward thinking and putting together a viable plan for sustainability, which includes a partnership with Tenet,” said Piscopo, the release reported. “It is evident from listening to hospital administrators and staff, that they’ve invested a lot of time and energy in determining the best course of action to ensure that BristolHospital will continue to provide an exceptional level of care to the people of the greater community now and in years to come.”

“We don’t want families, to have to travel outside the greater Bristol area for quality medical care that can be provided close to home through Bristol Hospital,” added Welch, the release reported.

The group discussed benefits of a partnership between Tenet Health Care and BristolHospital, said the release.:

As a for-profit corporation, the release said, BristolHospital will likely become one of the five highest taxpayers in Bristol. As a non-profit now, the Republican press release said, the hospital does not pay local taxes.

Partnering with Tenet Health Care will provide access to millions of dollars that can be used immediately to upgrade rooms and expensive medical equipment, and install energy saving systems, the release reported.

The board of directors will be comprised of local community leaders keeping local control on the running of a community hospital, said the release.

The for-profit model provides better job security, promotion, and expansion for hospital employees, reported the press document.

Strong financial support and contributions to local charities will continue, said the news statement.

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow such a partnership. The legislative session ends May 7.