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Providence

Report warns of looming hospital bed glut in R.I.

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Rhode Island will have about 200 more hospital beds than residents will need within four years, according to draft state report. If all the extra beds and their costs could be eliminated, for example by closing one 200-bed hospital, more than $100 million could be saved, the report says. The Providence Journal reported that hospital executives who serve on the Health Care Planning & Accountability Council oppose the finding. The draft report also says Rhode Islanders are willing to travel for health care. In Woonsocket and Warwick, for example, about half the patients went elsewhere for hospital care, mostly to Providence. The 26-member council includes representatives of hospitals, other providers, insurers, state government, business, academia, and consumers.

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