Tim Tai, Senior Photographer

Negotiations between Yale New Haven Health, Prospect Medical Holdings and the state over YNHH’s attempt to acquire three Prospect Medical hospitals briefly stalled last week, temporarily putting the acquisition in jeopardy, according to reporting by the CT Mirror

However, talks have resumed since the health system and Prospect Medical both agreed to sign a discussion privacy agreement, created by the Connecticut Office of Health Strategies. 

“OHS asked us to sign a confidentiality agreement,” Dana Marnane, director of public relations and communications for Yale New Haven Health, said in an email to the News, “which we did because we felt it was very important to continue productive conversations with OHS.” 

Sen. Saud Anwar, deputy president pro tempore of the Connecticut Senate and co-chair of the public health committee, said that conversations about the recovery plan and overall acquisition deal are still ongoing. 

“We’re hopeful these conversations will allow clarity on the financial impact Yale would have with the current situation,” Anwar wrote in an email to the News. 

In 2022, Yale New Haven Health initially announced its intent to purchase three hospitals — Manchester Memorial, Rockville General and Waterbury Health — from Prospect Medical Holdings. However, in the summer of 2023, anonymous actors launched a cyberattack on the hospitals, largely hindering their abilities to bill patients and pay for medical supplies. In the attack, the personal information of over 24,000 Prospect Medical employees was potentially leaked. 

Following the breach, YNHH proposed a “Recovery Plan” to amend their original acquisition deal. In an email sent to the News earlier this month, Marnane said that the new plan would provide the hospitals with immediate recovery assistance to ensure continued healthcare access in the region. 

The Recovery Plan would also change how the system will pay for the hospitals. In the aftermath of the cyberattack, YNHH requested a lower purchase price from Prospect Medical and roughly $80 million from the state, spread out over five years, to assist them in purchasing the hospitals. 

As negotiations have gone private, little information is available on the current status of the acquisition deal and whether the process is leaning toward one outcome or another. 

In an email to the News, Howard Forman, professor of radiology and biomedical imaging and director of the M.D./M.B.A. program at Yale, wrote that he thinks the acquisition deal move forward as soon as possible, due to the number of Connecticut residents any decision on the deal will affect. 

“There are a LOT of individuals with something at stake: there are patients and their families living in the surrounding communities; there are workers at the hospitals; there are physicians who practice solely or partly there; and there are companies that would like to build their businesses and want to offer their employees the opportunity to have world-class care in their community,” Forman said. 

Forman cited previous circumstances in 2015 in which the state provided monetary assistance to hospitals in need of it. 

Forman wrote that he thinks the state is capable of supporting an acquisition that it believes serves the public good. 

“[The state] should not be picking winners and losers, but rather making sure that crises are averted,” Forman said. “I cannot judge whether the closure of any or all of these hospitals would result in a crisis, but I can imagine that many individuals would be harmed by such an outcome.” 

Anwar also said that it id imperative to wrap up the acquisition deal so that the hospitals csn continue providing healthcare to the people living in the Manchester, Rockville and Waterbury regions. 

If this deal does not move forward, Anwar said, the state’s health and well-being may be negatively impacted. 

“The stakes are very high,” Anwar said. “Connecticut could lose 3,000 jobs and 600,000 people could lose health care if the wrong decisions are made.” 

Prospect Medical Holdings owns 16 healthcare facilities across California, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. 

Alexandra Martinez-Garcia covers Community Health and Policy and the Yale-New Haven Health System for the SciTech desk. Originally from Gales Ferry, CT, she is a sophomore in Silliman College majoring in Neuroscience.