Boston-based hospital giant applies to acquire RI hospitals group

Women & Infants hospital. File photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

By Steve Klamkin WPRO News

Citing financial distress of its Rhode Island target, Boston-based Partners Health Care is asking Rhode Island state regulators to grant an “expeditious review” of its planned acquisition of Providence-based Care New England, which would shorten the time for Rhode Island Department of Health Director Nicole Alexander-Scott to issue a decision from 120 days to 90 days.

“There’s been a lot of financial documents that have been submitted to the Department of Health that our team is now going to start to review,” said spokesman Joseph Wendelken, who expects it will take from 10 days to two weeks, whether to grant the speeded-up review for the acquisition.

In its request to the Rhode Island Department of Health, Partners Health Care, which operates Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston cited continuing losses over the last few years at Care New England, operator of Kent, Butler, Women & Infants and other Rhode Island hospital facilities.

Those losses included $68.2 million in Fiscal Year 2016, $47.1 million in FY 2017, $33.6 million in the first quarter of 2018 and $40.6 million in the second quarter of the 2018 Fiscal Year, according to the filing by Partners.

Under the Rhode Island Hospital Conversion Act, both the Departments of Health and Attorney General must approve any hospital acquisition or change in control. As of Thursday, the Attorney General’s office had not yet received any acquisition application, according to a spokeswoman.


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