Caritas Deal Scrutinized By Unions, Competitors

Caritas Christi Health Care, the state's second-largest hospital group with six Catholic hospitals, has agreed to be bought by the New York private equity firm, Cerberus Capital Management for $830 million, according to a report in today's Boston Globe.

Caritas says the acquisition — which would change its status from non-profit to for-profit — will infuse much-needed cash into a variety of areas, including capital expenditures, pensions, immediate construction and retiring all debt, according to the Caritas website.

But 1199SEIU, the union representing 3,000 Caritas workers will closely scrutinize the deal, the Globe reports:

In a statement, 1199SEIU vice president Veronica Turner said: "1199SEIU members will be reviewing the details of the Cerberus-Caritas accord closely. From a jobs and care perspective, an investment of $830 million in the system should be good news for Caritas workers and patients. 1199SEIU members look forward to working with Caritas management to ensure our shared goal of delivering quality care to our communities remains at the forefront during this process.”

Meanwhile Paul Levy, CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center writes on his blog that the deal could provide "the kind of competition Massachusetts needs."

And here's WBUR's interview with Caritas CEO Ralph de la Torre.

This program aired on March 25, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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Rachel Zimmerman Reporter
Rachel Zimmerman previously reported on health and the intersection of health and business for WBUR. She is working on a memoir about rebuilding her family after her husband’s suicide. 



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