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Report: RI likely to face surplus of hospital beds

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A state report says Rhode Island can expect to face a surplus of hospital beds — a full hospital's worth — in four years because of declines in population and inpatient stays.

The Health Care Planning and Accountability Advisory Council report estimates the state is on track to have 200 extra beds in 2017. It says eliminating them by closing a single facility could save over $100 million.

The council adopted the report last month. It didn't recommend how best to address the overcapacity, but Health and Human Services Secretary Steven Costantino, a council co-chair, says discussions will continue.

The Rhode Island Business Group on Health wants a special commission to make binding recommendations on possible closures or consolidations that it says will help keep down health care costs.

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