The move dashes hopes -- at least for now -- for one "unified academic medical center" merging CNE, Lifespan and Brown's medical school.
Care New England, Rhode Island's second-largest hospital chain, said in a statement that its board voted Monday to withdrawal from the merger talks brokered by Gov. Gina Raimondo.
"The Board took into account many considerations," the company said in a statement, "including but not limited to, capital requirements and financial stability of the combined system, community need, anti-trust considerations, organizational stability, and implementation risks."
CEO James Fanale said the timing wasn't right.
"The vision of a unified medical center in Rhode Island is a good vision," Fanale said. "But at the end of the day, the Care New England board felt that now is just not the right time to enter into a business relationship."
Fanale said he couldn't be more specific about why the talks fell apart because all the parties signed nondisclosure agreements.
Raimondo, who last month intervened in another deal involving Care New England to broker this in-state merger, said in a statement that she was "disappointed."
"I continue to believe that a locally-run, academic medical center is what’s in the best interest of Rhode Island," Raimondo said. "I have encouraged the parties to keep an open mind, remain open to future discussions, and to continue to pursue expanded collaboration that could pave the way to further integration down the road.”
Lifespan blasted Care New England's decision, saying in a statement that it was "extremely disappointed."
These talks between Lifespan, Care New England and Brown came about after the governor scuttled another proposed deal in which Care New England would become part of Partners Healthcare, the Boston-based hospital giant. The prospect of one unified, in-state system drew support from many local leaders, though some experts said it raised antitrust concerns.
Lifespan and Care New England -- which together control some two-thirds of the state's hospital market -- have previously tried and failed to negotiate a merger. There was hope that this time could be different because the governor had gotten involved.
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