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Physician: Lack of hospital mergers led Rhode Island to miss out on 'world-class' health center

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A Rhode Island physician said the health of the state's residents depends on more integration among hospitals, according to the Providence Journal.

In a June 14 op-ed, obstetrics and gynecology physician W. Scott Walker, MD, said health in Rhode Island depends on a successful agreement between three Providence-based institutions: Women & Infants Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University's Warren Alpert Medical School.

"My career began in 1988, two years after Women & Infants moved crosstown to the Rhode Island Hospital campus," Dr. Walker said. "At that time it seemed logical, and even inevitable, that the two would merge. With Brown Medical School, they offered the opportunity for a truly world-class academic center in our state. Unfortunately, this has not (yet) happened."

Dr. Walker said he hopes renewed conversations between the parent companies of the three institutions — Lifespan Health and Care New England Health System, both in Providence — will result in more integration among the state's healthcare providers.

Boston-based Partners HealthCare announced June 4 that it will withdraw its application to acquire Care New England Health System, a three-hospital system based in Providence, Partners pulled out of the deal more than a year after signing a definitive agreement to acquire Care New England. Partners called off talks the same day Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo asked Care New England to try to work out an agreement with Lifespan and Brown University.

More articles on transitions and valuations:
U of Louisville won't buy Jewish Hospital from CHI
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