Out-of-State Health Care System Seeks
to Take Over Hospitals in Rhode Island
Rhode Island state officials are currently considering whether to allow Boston-based Partners HealthCare to acquire Rhode Island-based Care New England (CNE). This would mean the largest health care system in New England, with the most expensive hospitals in Massachusetts, would own Rhode Island’s Kent, Butler, and Women & Infants hospitals.
This proposed takeover already contributed to the closing of Memorial Hospital, which had been a part of CNE, so we already know what will happen if the acquisition is approved. In October of 2017, Standard and Poor’s lowered their rating on CNE’s debt, stating in part: “Pending letter of intent for CNE to be acquired by Partners Health Care…which would be viewed favorably if it comes to fruition – however, a condition of the acquisition requires CNE to shed Memorial from its operating profile.” (Source: Profile of Care New England in www.standardandpoors.com/ratingsdirect, October 20, 2017)
Also in October of 2017, Care New England CEO James Fanale talked to WPRI of the need to close Memorial Hospital, saying, “We’ve got to ensure that Care New England is stable as an employer and all the attendant things there, and we’re going to do that,” adding that resolving Memorial’s situation was a requirement before Partners would agree to take over the hospital system. This demand by Partners directly conflicts with what they now say: they claim they want to help strengthen primary care in Rhode Island. If that were the case, they would not have closed Memorial’s primary care, maternity, and other services.
The loss of Care New England to Partners HealthCare—for free, because Partners does not plan to pay for the hospitals or to invest in them after the acquisition — would mark yet another hospital group acquisition by out-of-state interests. Access, quality, and cost of health care for the people of Rhode Island will be relinquished to executives who know little about Rhode Islanders and the critical role of health care in our state.
This loss would have dire consequences for Rhode Island, including higher health care costs and premiums for consumers and businesses, lost jobs and economic growth, abandoning local health care decision-making and reducing local access to certain high-specialty health care services that are now available here in Rhode Island.
Learn the facts now about the Partners deal and what it will mean to our state, our economy, our communities, and to you. Don’t let Rhode Island lose local decision-making for our health care.