- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 19, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Care New England, one of the largest hospital chains in Rhode Island, is pushing to merge with Boston-based Partners HealthCare. If approved, the merger could have a big impact on Rhode Island’s medical sector.

The merger comes after the nonprofit chain went through layoffs due to financial struggles. One of the higher costs is Pawtucket’s Memorial Hospital management, which was forced to shut down its maternity ward.

Care New England searched for a partner for more than a year after a deal with Lifespan and SouthCoast Health System failed.

In a statement, President and CEO of Care Dennis Keefe calls the deal a “tremendous opportunity.” The Partners CEO says the move will better meet the needs of area patients.

The merger is subject to approval from state and federal regulators.

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