Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), issued the following statement today on the Reverse Certificate of Need application submitted by Memorial Hospital:
"RIDOH has processes in place for reviewing changes to primary or emergency services offered by healthcare facilities. One of these processes, which is called a Reverse Certificate of Need, is used to review a proposed closure or a reduction in services. It is intended to ensure access to quality health services and healthcare throughout Rhode Island, and is an important part of RIDOH's work to promote optimal health outcomes and healthy communities. Whenever a Reverse Certificate of Need application has the potential to significantly impact a community, RIDOH holds a hearing to give the public an opportunity to voice their questions and concerns."
"On March 2nd, Memorial Hospital submitted a Reverse Certificate of Need application to RIDOH. However, until that Reverse Certificate of Need application has been fully processed, and until a decision has been made on that application, Memorial Hospital is obligated to continue providing all existing services to patients. Memorial Hospital is not permitted, until the process is complete, to make any changes to the primary or emergency services currently offered, including maternal and delivery services."
Once a date and location for a public hearing on Memorial Hospital's Reverse Certificate of Need application are set, that information will be publicized widely. Additionally, people who are unable to attend the hearing will have an opportunity to submit comments. Dr. Alexander-Scott will attend the hearing.