Round 3 for Lifespan, CNE merger

The headline surprised many Rhode Islanders: “Partners withdraws CNE merger application, Raimondo urges in-state health care system.”

So, for the moment at least, Lifespan Corp. has what it has campaigned so vociferously for, which is one final chance to merge with Care New England Health System and create a single, locally-run, academic medical system in Rhode Island [it will be the third time that the two medical systems will have tried to do this].

The concept has its appeal. As Lifespan President and CEO Dr. Timothy J. Babineau has said, Massachusetts has four full medical systems and Rhode Island has none. He contends that this situation eventually would drain investment, as well as talent from the Ocean State.

CNE President and CEO Dr. James E. Fanale says that a merger with Partners HealthCare would give it more resources to reinvest and would not drain its medical expertise.

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Thankfully, Gov. Gina M. Raimondo has stepped into the middle of this contretemps and demanded that the parties involved [which includes Brown University] put the needs of the state first. That is the real headline.