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Lifespan launches website criticizing Partners takeover of Care New England

Providence, R.I.-based Lifespan has launched a public campaign opposing Partners HealthCare's proposed acquisition of Care New England Health System, a deal that has been in the works for two years.

Boston-based Partners and Providence-based Care New England agreed in April 2017 to explore an affiliation. In May of last year, Partners signed a definitive agreement to acquire Care New England. Under the deal, Care New England would become part of Partners' Brigham Health in Boston.

State regulators are wrapping up their review of the proposed acquisition, but the transaction is facing opposition from Lifespan, one of Care New England's local competitors.

The proposed deal "would have devastating consequences for Rhode Island and its healthcare delivery system, now and for years to come," Lifespan Chairman Lawrence Aubin said in a statement to local news station WPRI.

Lifespan provided more details on those consequences on a website it launched criticizing the Partners-Care New England deal. The proposed transaction would lead to higher healthcare costs and insurance premiums, lost jobs and loss of local healthcare decsionmaking, the website states.

Leaders from Care New England and Brigham Health defended the proposed deal and outlined its benefits in a joint statement issued April 24.

"The acquisition by Brigham Health would further CNE's recent financial turnaround and provide much-needed financial stability," Brigham Health President and CEO Betsy Nabel, MD, and Care New England President and CEO James E. Fanale, MD, said. "We're exploring the potential for clinical expansion, including the development of new, lower-cost, community-based ambulatory care centers, which could create more clinical jobs and lead to the recruitment of specialty physicians offering an expanded array of clinical services in Rhode Island. We are working closely with the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Attorney General to ensure that this collaboration will strengthen the Rhode Island health care system for all."

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