Brown president urges R.I. to embrace Brown-Prospect CNE merger instead of Partners

Brown University has its own plan for Care New England's future.PHOTO COURTESY BROWN UNIVERSITY

PROVIDENCE  Brown University President Christina Paxson says Rhode Island should reject Boston-based Partners HealthCare’s proposed acquisition of Care New England in favor of the university’s own bid to join with Prospect Medical Holdings to merge with the health care system.

Paxson said Partners’ proposal would shift local health care’s focus to Boston and stymie the university’s vision of an integrated academic health system in the Ocean State.

The Brown-Prospect alternative, outlined in a letter to the Brown campus community today, would create an integrated academic health system with local health care systems that would keep health care in Rhode Island, along with its economic benefits.

Paxson listed the key elements of a Brown University-Prospect Medical merger/acquisition plan:

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  • Brown University or a nonprofit subsidiary of Brown would acquire CNE’s Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island.
  • Prospect Medical would acquire CNE’s Kent Hospital and non-hospital assets, such as The Providence Center community mental health organization.
  • Either Brown or Prospect would acquire CNE’s Butler Hospital (with Brown having the right to decide).
  • Medical school faculty at Women & Infants, Butler and Kent Hospitals would either be invited to join a Brown faculty practice plan or to become Brown employees.
  • The majority of any operating margins received by Brown would be reinvested in clinical care, medical research and education.
  • Brown and Prospect would offer CNE a Letter of Intent and enter into a period of expedited due diligence at CNE’s earliest convenience.

Care New England was not deterred by the argument.

“Today’s announcement by Prospect Medical Holdings and Brown University represents their intention to acquire and split up the Care New England Health System – a process undertaken of their own independent action and interests. While we appreciate their interest in the future of health care in Rhode Island, we will move forward with the important process we have set upon in the best interest of both CNE and those we care for. To that end, CNE will proceed in our exclusive discussion with Partners as set forth in our letter of intent and we look forward to the next steps in that process,” said Jim Beardsworth, CNE spokesman.

Paxson’s entire letter may be read here.

Rob Borkowksi is a PBN staff writer. Email him at