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Partners to examine Care New England acquisition amid financial issues

A Boston-based Partners HealthCare executive said the health system plans to hold off on finalizing its proposed acquisition of Providence, R.I.-based Care New England Health System until CNE's finances improve, WPRI-12 News reports.

Peter K. Markell, executive vice president of administration and finance, CFO and treasurer of Partners HealthCare, told the Boston Business Journal Aug. 22 the two institutions are expected to meet in September or October to decide if the deal can proceed.

"The devil is in the details in the assumptions, but we'd like to see [Care New England] showing us pretty near-term breakeven, and getting to a 1 to 2 percent margin within three years or so," Mr. Markell told the Boston Business Journal.

CNE has reportedly lost $46 million, thus far, during this fiscal year. To improve its finances, CNE officials aim to sell Pawtucket, R.I.-based Memorial Hospital to Ontario, Calif.-based Prime Healthcare Foundation and merge its remaining three hospitals with Partners. Both deals were announced nearly four months ago.

Rhode Island lawmakers recently passed a measure to speed up the proposed transaction with Prime. The bill will change a previous state law by minimizing the extensive regulatory review of hospital transactions.

A spokesperson for Partners HealthCare told Becker's Hospital Review, "Partners and Care New England are working together as part of the due diligence process."

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