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Care New England to hold off on future deals

Providence, R.I.-based Care New England said it's too early to make plans for future merger deals after the system and Lifespan withdrew their application to merge, The Providence Journal reported Feb. 24.

StoneBridge Healthcare, a financial turnaround company, offered $550 million to purchase Care New England, Becker's reported Feb. 23.

StoneBridge also attempted to acquire the system in 2020 but was turned away, according to the Journal.

Some are concerned about StoneBridge's offer, such as Lynn Blais, president of the United Nurses and Allied Professions, which includes 1,500 employees of Care New England.

"Our union has major concerns about this potential sale, and we urge Care New England and state leaders to ask the tough questions," Ms. Blais said in a statement to the Journal. "Is StoneBridge, which was just created in 2020 and has never owned a single hospital, truly a 'not-for-profit' or are they a for-profit masquerading as a not-for-profit?"

StoneBridge said it would keep Care New England as a nonprofit entity.

"There is work that needs to be done before any questions about decisions or next steps can be answered," a Care New England spokesperson told the Journal.

The Federal Trade Commission made an announcement Feb. 17 that it would file suit to block the Lifespan and Care New England deal, and Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha said he would join the FTC in the lawsuit, arguing that the deal would raise healthcare costs.

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