- Associated Press - Thursday, April 13, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island’s largest health care provider has proposed a merger with the state’s second-largest provider.

Dr. Timothy Babineau, president and chief executive of Lifespan, said Thursday that his company submitted a “compelling” proposal to Care New England in recent weeks.

Babineau told The Providence Journal (https://bit.ly/2orK3Ez ) the plan is the end result of several past merger discussions, dating back to 1983. Dennis Keefe, president and chief executive of Care New England, told the newspaper earlier this year that a merger would likely reduce health care costs in the state, but also warned of significant job losses from such a deal.

The proposal comes as Lifespan’s largest hospital seeks approval for a new, $43 million obstetrics unit.

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