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Lifespan, Care New England merger: 10 things to know

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State regulators on Dec. 30 made the merger application public for Lifespan, Care New England and Brown University, all Providence, R.I.-based, The Boston Globe reported.

The proposed deal, which was filed April 26, has received some scrutiny from state regulators. 

Ten things to know about the merger application between Lifespan and Care New England, according to the Globe:

1. The merger would involve an expansion of care at Care New England's Express Care Center in the Pawtucket and Central Falls areas of Rhode Island. The deal would also redirect care from Lifespan's Providence-based Rhode Island Hospital to ambulatory surgery centers. The systems are considering building one or two ambulatory care centers in underserved communities.

2. The deal will cost about $4 billion. Brown will commit at least $125 million in the first five years. Rhode Island Academic Healthcare System, the name of the new entity, will invest about $100 million per year combined, according to the application.

3. The merger would address reducing waste, increasing access to lower-cost care, transitioning to a value-based payment model, improving the quality of care, decreasing disparities, making the state a hub for life sciences research and innovation, and nurturing the local healthcare workforce. The systems hope to achieve these goals within five years.

4. Executives want to change Care New England's Women & Infants Hospital into a "comprehensive women's hospital." Currently, women's care is spread between the two systems. The merger would combine care in a range of specialties.

5. The application said the system would advance cancer research and make advanced treatments more accessible. However, details on establishing a comprehensive cancer center in the state were redacted.

6. Executives said they would work with payers to create "innovative payment models and lower costs." Additionally, the systems said that, if combined, they'd be able to take financial responsibility for more covered lives, including the majority of Medicaid covered lives.

7. Goals for the merger include receiving a Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Overall Quality ranking of four stars or higher; being better than the national average in readmission rates, hospital-acquired conditions, morbidity and mortality; being better than peers on Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set measures; and removing health disparities based on social factors.

8. Both systems said they have committed $10 million over three years to social disparities in health, like food insecurity, lack of affordable housing and unemployment.

9. The systems don't expect changes to staffing levels for the first three years, the application said.

10. The new system will have co-CEOs, and once they are chosen, the current CEOs will be removed from the board. There will also be an equal number of board members from Lifespan and Care New England.

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