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      State regulators approve sale of Westerly Hospital

      The sale of the troubled Westerly Hospital to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital of New London, Conn., has been approved by state regulators after an expedited review.

      Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin announced Wednesday he approved the sale. The state Health Department signed off on it on Monday.

      This is the first time regulators have reviewed a hospital purchase under the expedited review process, which shaves 30 days off the normal 120-day process.

      Kilmartin says his office is mindful of balancing the interests of the community, employees and the state with "the economic realities of the rapidly-changing and highly competitive healthcare marketplace."

      Westerly Hospital went into receivership in 2011. A Superior Court judge approved the sale for $69 million last year.

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