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Partners HealthCare to acquire Care New England in Rhode Island

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Providence, R.I.-based Care New England Health System signed a letter of intent to explore an exclusive affiliation with Boston-based Partners HealthCare.

Care New England Health System's board of directors selected Partners after an expedited review of more than 12 state, regional and national for-profit and nonprofit healthcare organizations. Care New England and Partners have maintained a close working relationship since 2009.

Under the letter of intent agreement, Care New England would become a part of Partners HealthCare. Officials said the next step is for the organizations to sign a definitive agreement. The transaction is still subject to state and federal regulatory approvals.

"As health reform here and across the nation evolves, providers are developing more regional strategies and this affiliation between Partners and Care New England is a natural step in that evolution. However, despite the many changes in health policy, one constant has always remained — at the heart of all our efforts is the patient," said Partners HealthCare President and CEO David Torchiana, MD.

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