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Brown University med school professor: University's plan to buy Care New England is a bad idea

In an op-ed for the Providence Journal, Andrew Cohen, MD, professor of medicine at Providence, R.I.-based Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, said the university's proposal to jointly take over Providence-based Care New England with Los Angeles-based Prospect Medical Holdings is not in the best interest of either party.

Last week, Brown University President Christina Paxson, PhD, announced the university's proposed plan with Prospect to acquire CNE. She said the proposal was intended as an alternative to Boston-based Partner's HealthCare's acquisition proposal, which Partners and CNE announced last April.

While Ms. Paxson claimed the university's proposal will create an "integrated academic health system in and for Rhode Island," Dr. Cohen writes the proposal will not accomplish that goal.

He cites the university's relationship with its primary teaching hospital partner, Providence-based Lifespan, which he says "has been plagued by persistent and contentious disagreement between [the] two parties." The organizations' inability to work with one another and create a unified academic physician group practice has fragmented healthcare "within the Brown and Lifespan systems [and] continues to jeopardize patients and frustrate providers."

Dr. Cohen also notes "additional concerns" with Prospect's "dubious performance record."

"The Medical School (and Rhode Island) would be better served by consolidating resources with Lifespan, including the development of a fully unified faculty practice. As it does for most academic medical centers in the United States, such a practice would form the core of a truly integrated health system," Dr. Cohen writes. "Rhode Islanders need not travel to Boston for a high quality academic health center, and deserve nothing less."

To read Dr. Cohen's full op-ed, click here.

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