Care New England to remain independent

Providence, R.I.-based Care New England's leaders say they have crafted a plan to allow the health system to remain independent rather than merge with a larger system, CBS affiliate WPRI reported July 6. 

The health system has faced financial challenges for years, which led to a series of unsuccessful merger attempts, according to the report. Most recently, regulators blocked a deal with Providence-based Lifespan. 

Care New England owns Women & Infants, Kent and Butler hospitals and is Rhode Island's second largest health system.

Care New England President and CEO James Fanale, MD, told WPRI the key to  the plan is support from legislative leaders in the recently passed state budget. It includes a significant increase in the Medicaid reimbursement rate for delivering children. That part of the state budget is a boost to Women & Infants, where the majority of children in the state are born.  

The health system also is working on new agreements with business partners including Brown University, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island and Lifespan to ensure an operating margin that will allow for financial stability, according to the report. 

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