In Partners HealthCare Acquisition of Care New England, Hospitals Would Be Designated to Brigham

Thursday, March 14, 2019


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New details are emerging as hundreds of pages of documents were submitted to the Rhode Island Department of Health this week as part of the application by Partners HealthCare to acquire Rhode Island’s second-largest hospital group -- Care New England.

The application throws a little bit of a curveball as the merger would have the Care New England hospitals — Kent, Women & Infants, and Butler Hospitals, as well as the VNA, being absorbed by Brigham in Boston — a subsidiary of Partners.

Care New England in Rhode Island over the three years has shed thousands of jobs and lost more than $100 million.

Partners HealthCare is a hospital behemoth — a corporation whose annual budget of more than $13 billion is more than 35 percent larger than the state of Rhode Island’s budget.

Partners employs more than 70,000 employees.

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Partners CEO is leaving this spring

While a giant, the Boston-based mega hospital group has had a series of recent setbacks. Its financial situation turned sour in the 4th quarter of 2018, although the company had a positive year. Then, CEO Dr. David Torchiana suddenly announced his resignation last month and is scheduled to leave this spring. In addition, a mega-deal between Partners and Harvard Pilgrim collapsed.

Brigham Would Manage Care New England

“Partners has designated Brigham to be the sole corporate member of CNE at the closing of the transaction described in the Affiliation and Integration Agreement (the "Transaction") in light of the success of Brigham's existing nine-year clinical affiliation with CNE," according to the documents submitted to the RI Department of Health by Partners as part of the review process.

“The key considerations of Brigham and CNE in pursuing the Transaction are to stabilize, strengthen and enhance the CNE healthcare system in the communities it serves, to enhance primary care and bring together strong multi-specialty medical providers, to expand ambulatory care services in local, community-based lower cost non-hospital settings, and to strengthen academic and research programs through an enhanced and updated academic affiliation agreement between CNE and Brown University ("Brown"), on behalf of The Warren Alpert Medical School ("WAMS").

Brown's President Christine Paxson has flip-flopped on the deal. In January of 2018, Paxson said the deal would damage RI's healthcare system and the economy, but just a few months later she reversed position and endorsed the deal.


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