In a letter to doctors, Lifespan CEO Dr. Timothy J. Babineau has criticized the proposed merger of Boston-based Partner HealthCare and Lifespan’s chief Rhode Island competition, Care New England.
``I continue to believe that health care is best delivered locally,’’ said Babineau. ``It will be an unfortunate outcome if this new proposed merger results in jobs and care directed out of state, when Rhode Islanders can receive this care, with equal or better quality, closer to home.’’
Said Babineau, "the representation that this merger will `better meet the needs of this region’s patients by improving access to specialized care’ fails to acknowledge and recognize the superb, specialized care that already exists at Lifespan, here in Rhode Island. Patients need not travel to Boston to receive such care. Lifespan made a compelling offer to merge with CNE to create a unified Rhode Island based academic health care system that would have benefited patients and the state’s economy. Why CNE chose to move in a different direction is unclear at this time.’’
Lifespan and Care New England have engaged in fruitless merger talks over the years. The CNE-Partners combination requires state approvals from Attorney General Peter Kilmartin’s office and the Rhode Island Department of Health.
Gov. Gina Raimondo has been notably silent so far on the proposed merger, which has also garnered scant reaction from state lawmakers.