Landmark, Caritas talks are off

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Landmark Medical Center of Woonsocket has suspended the acquisition process with Caritas Christi Health Care, and is making itself available to talks with other health care providers.

A court appointed special master has been running the financially troubled Landmark Medical Center for more than two years, and Landmark had been exclusively negotiating with Caritas for nearly half that time.

Landmark spokesman Bill Fischer says discussions came to a halt after Landmark failed to negotiate rates with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island.

"We had had positive discussions with both United and Tufts but with regard to Blue Cross, those discussions were not fruitful and it became a major stumbling block and the ability for this deal to move forward," Fischer says.

Blue Cross says it never dealt with Landmark and is surprised and disappointed that it's getting the blame for the failed negotiation.

"We were very surprised, we had been negotiating with Caritas and then negotiations had stalled," says Blue Cross Blue Shield Executive Vice President Michele Lederberg.

Lederberg says their talks with Caritas broke down the week of Thanksgiving.

Fischer says multiple entities both in state and out of state have approached Landmark about discussing acquisition. He says Landmark Medical Center will present a timeline to Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein next month.

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