A Senate bill that would have given state regulators more time and leverage to review the proposed merger of Rhode Islands’ two largest hospital systems - Lifespan and Care New England - has stalled in the House.

The bill (S-443) introduced by Senate Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey, D-Warwick, would have increased from 120 days to 280 days the minimum time allotted for state regulators to issue a ruling on deals involving health systems that control more than 20% of the hospitals in the state. 

The bill would have prevented Lifespan and Care New England from seeking a fast-track approval of the deal, as Partners HealthCare did when it was looking to acquire Care New England. 

The measure also would have required parties to the Lifespan-Care New England deal to provide an economic impact analysis on the affected communities, disclose any unfunded liabilities for pension and retirement plans and provide more detailed disclosures of conflicts of interests among the transacting parties.

Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, as well as the nonprofit Protect Our Healthcare Coalition are among those who have submitted testimony in support of the bill.

The bill was approved 37-0 by the Senate in April.

State law requires that any changes in control of hospitals be approved by the state Department of Health and the state Attorney General’s office.

The proposed merger also would need approval by federal regulators.

As of Monday night, the House Corporations Committee had not scheduled a hearing on the Senate bill. House spokesman Larry Berman said the bill would not be taken up this session.

-- Health reporter Lynn Arditi can be reached at larditi@thepublicsradio.org. Follow her on Twitter @LynnArditi