Lifespan’s board of directors and chief executive officer announce today that they strongly oppose the proposed acquisition of Care New England by Partners HealthCare.

Lifespan chairman of the board of directors, Lawrence Aubin, said, “Allowing such an acquisition to move forward would have devastating consequences for Rhode Island and its health care delivery system, now and for years to come,” and lists as examples the following:

Higher cost of health care for Rhode Islanders, based on the higher reimbursement rates commanded by Partners HealthCare and lack of regulatory oversight by the Rhode Island Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner (OHIC) on those rates

Loss of ability to attract the best medical experts to Rhode Island due to loss of necessary patient volumes

Negative impact on patients, who will have to travel out of the state for care they currently are able to receive here

Vital health care jobs will be moved from Rhode Island to Boston

Critical health care decisions that affect all Rhode Islanders will also move to Boston

“With the recent release of the Change of Effective Control [posted to the DOH website in March], we now know that Partners intends to make no investment in CNE – pay $0 for CNE and commit no capital investment, just a takeover of community assets that were built by Rhode Islanders for Rhode Islanders. Loss of Care New England, a community asset, and the decision to turn these assets over to Boston at zero cost is a travesty,” Aubin adds.

A recent report commissioned by OHIC found that:

Partners’ Mass General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals are among the highest priced general acute care hospitals in Massachusetts;

This proposed takeover already contributed to the closing of Memorial Hospital; and Partners physician organizations are up to 50 percent more expensive than Rhode Island commercial physician fee schedules.

Timothy J. Babineau, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Lifespan added, “It is essential that Rhode Island have a locally controlled academic medical center that can attract top specialists and primary care physicians working for the people of Rhode Island. The proposed acquisition places that at great risk.” For more information: www.ProtectRIHealthCare.org