Is Caritas Deal Near – With Conditions?

The Globe is reporting in today’s edition that after some stormy weeks of negotiations, changes in funding, greater deficit and shortfall discoveries – that Caritas Christi Health Care buy out by the for-profit Cerberus Capital Management firm has been salvaged. The buy-out agreement is subject to a review and conditions imposed by the Attorney General and the Department of Public Health. This review has included public hearings and input –  formal and informal – from the many stakeholders – individuals, communities  and institutions.

With state regulators preparing to rule soon on the proposed sale to Cerberus Capital Management, the parties have been locked in frantic negotiations in recent weeks. The talks intensified after Caritas discovered an additional $45 million shortfall in its unfunded pension liability and critics of the deal pressed for the New York firm to be held to stringent conditions, according to people familiar with the talks.

The conditions will likely include: coverage of the Caritas pension liability; a guarantee not to close any of the Caritas hospitals for at least three years; continued offering of mental health and behavorial services despite financial loss; and continued financial oversight by the Attorney General’s office.

Chris Murphy, a Caritas spokesman, would not confirm details of the negotiations.

“We remain optimistic a deal will be reached that benefits the pensioners, the employees, and most important the patients of the Caritas communities,’’ Murphy said. “But getting from point A to point B has not been easy.’’

Read the full Globe article here.