Rhode Island’s Care New England hospital system wants to be acquired by Greater Boston's Partners HealthCare, which includes such famed institutions as Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital. CNE's plan is to sell off Memorial Hospital, in Pawtucket, R.I., as part of being acquired. Ohio-based Prime Healthcare would buy Memorial.
Because of Massachusetts state regulators' concerns about Partners' pricing power, that system has found it difficult to expand more in Greater Boston.
CNE's current units are:
Women & Infants
VNA of Care New England
Care New England Wellness Center
“Today’s announcement represents the positive results of an extremely careful and deliberate process intended to ensure the best clinical, financial, and strategic direction forward for CNE,” said board Chairman Charles R. Reppucci, in a release. “While we are taking the first steps in this process, we do so with the utmost optimism and dedication to ensuring the successful completion of this affiliation with Partners which represents a unique and compelling opportunity in the advancement of Rhode Island healthcare delivery.”
Care New England has struggled financially in recent years and has long been wanting to merge with another entity.
The system had a $68.3 million operating loss in fiscal 2016 and a $1.8 million operating loss in fiscal 2015.
CNE has had a relationship with Partners since 2009 through a clinical affiliation with Brigham and Women’s Hospital. And McLean Hospital, also owned by Partners, has sometimes worked with Care New England’s Butler Hospital in behavioral health and research.
How such a merger would affect the Alpert Medical School at Brown University is unknown. Partners has very close links with the Harvard Medical School.
Presumably the acquisition would involve big golden parachutes for CNE executives.