Another local hospital changes hands

    Lower Bucks Hospital has been facing uphill financial battles for years. It filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and even though it emerged, officials said this week they had two options: close down immediately or allow themselves to be bought out.

    They went for the latter and worked out a deal with the for-profit California-based health provider Prime.

    Curt Schroeder is the regional executive for the Delaware Valley Health Care Council. He says big outside firms have been playing a big part in keeping local hospitals alive.

    “They can really help turn around an institution that if, left to what was apparently happening, just would have probably gone away and the community would have been without a hospital.”

    Schroeder says that it’s become harder and harder for independent non-profit hospitals to compete in a marketplace that demands greater efficiencies and constant technological updates.

    He says the Affordable Care Act, with its emphasis on quality over volume, will also favor hospital networks that share resources.

    “Hospitals will now be paid differently. They’ll be paid more for being efficient, for providing greater quality of care, a whole number of different things that will make it perhaps easier for hospital systems,” said Schroeder. “Whereas hospitals that are still on their own, probably have a bigger hurdle.”

    As part of the Lower Bucks deal, Prime will invest $10 million in the hospital as well as retain all staff.

    Roxborough Memorial Hospital was taken oven by Prime earlier this year.

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