From Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary'' in GoLocal24.com:
So South County Hospital and Yale New Haven Health System are discussing linking up, presumably along the lines of what the Connecticut institution has already done with Westerly Hospital. It’s another reminder of how Rhode Island is being more and more absorbed into multi-state markets. From, say, East Greenwich north, the Ocean State is more and more part of Greater Boston. From East Greenwich to the southwest, it’s drawn into the coastal Connecticut/metro New York orbit.
Rhode Island can be a less expensive, more convenient and physically attractive alternative to those more congested and expensive places. While the state’s hospitals might not be able to offer the full range of services available at some famous Boston or New York hospitals or at Yale New Haven, they can provide most of the services that patients need. Meanwhile, Rhode Island could become a national model for primary care, helped by the Alpert Medical School at Brown’s nationally known primary-care training.
And there’s no reason that an out-of-state organization, such as Yale New Haven, for one, would close down certain highly profitable specialty services in Rhode Island, such as South County Hospital’s joint-replacement program.
There are many social and economic advantages to being between two of the richest and most important cities in America. And the more the Ocean State gets absorbed into the big metro areas to its north and south, the less provincial and tribal it will be.