Care New England CEO accuses Lifespan of retaliation after merger talks collapse

The relationship between the CEOs of Care New England Health System and Lifespan has become increasingly tense since the Providence, R.I.-based organizations ended merger talks in July, according to The Boston Globe.

Care New England announced July 16 that it would withdraw from merger talks with Lifespan and Brown University. In a July 25 letter obtained by The Boston Globe, Care New England President and CEO James Fanale, MD, accused Lifespan of retaliating after merger discussions collapsed by ending a partnership with Integra Community Care Network, an ACO run by Care New England.

"Last Monday, we were informed that this program was terminated abruptly and our case manager would no longer be allowed to assist our patients at Rhode Island Hospital," Dr. Fanale wrote, according to The Boston Globe. "The reason given was that your current consulting group mandated the case managers leave. The timing of this decision seems coincident with and in retaliation to Care New England's recent decision to exit merger discussions."

Lifespan President and CEO Timothy J. Babineau, MD, called the accusation "offensive" and "absurd" in a letter sent to Dr. Fanale. He cited "significant operational and financial challenges this fiscal year" as the reason Lifespan decided a new case manager wasn't necessary, according to The Boston Globe.

Care New England has faced financial challenges in recent years, but the health system ended the third quarter of fiscal year 2019 with operating income of $7.4 million on revenue of $290.6 million. That's compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2018, when the health system recorded operation income of $800,000 on revenue of $278.8 million.

Access the full article from The Boston Globe here.

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