A New Future for
Rhode Island Healthcare
Together We Will Strengthen
Healthcare for All Rhode Islanders
Care New England and Brigham Health share a mutual desire to improve access, quality and efficiency of care for all Rhode Islanders.
Along with Brown University, we value medical research, innovation and the institutions that educate our doctors. We are guided by the imperative that our collaboration must strengthen the Rhode Island healthcare system for all.
The health and well-being of all Rhode Islanders will always be our first priority. With Brigham Health’s acquisition of Care New England, Rhode Islanders will continue to have access to high-quality care close to home. We’ll work together to address much-needed capital improvements and the addition of new services. In creating this strengthened network, we are focused on:
Keeping Care Local
Our shared goal is to deliver the right care in the right place at the right time. In nearly all cases, that means keeping care in Rhode Island.
Our ability to keep high-quality care local, and triage to Brigham Health only when necessary, is evidenced by the existing cardiology, thoracic and colorectal programs. Brigham physicians have been caring for these patients in Rhode Island for a decade.
Less than 1 percent of those patients have been transferred to other hospitals because they suffer from rare or complicated conditions needing specialized care.
Keeping Care Affordable
Keeping healthcare costs down is critical.
For years, Brigham Health and Care New England have developed new or expanded programs that focus on reducing costs. We remain committed to those efforts.
Our partnership will give us a unique opportunity to share best practices across our networks, helping us reduce costs and improve the quality of care.
Investing in Rhode Island
This acquisition will strengthen both outpatient and inpatient services, and allow us to jointly recruit physicians, particularly in specialty roles, enabling an expanded array of clinical services to be delivered locally.
Brigham Health is committed to partnering with CNE, Brown, Partners and other RI stakeholders to advance and support RI’s growing healthcare research ecosystem.
This acquisition will provide access to more resources, including physicians, to RI to complement the existing medical staff.
Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School will be the primary academic research and teaching institution of record for our affiliation.
Stabilizing CNE’s finances and providing new resources will fund needed capital investments.
Get the Facts
Claim: Out of state ownership is bad for Rhode Island – it’ll just siphon care and resources north to Boston and make care way less accessible for Rhode Islanders.
Reality: Keeping care local is paramount to us. This is about bringing affordable, world-class care to the people of RI, ensuring that Rhode Islanders will continue to have access to high-quality care close to home. Patients will only travel to Boston when it’s medically necessary and in the best interest of the patient’s care
Our experience at Kent Hospital proves our point: Cardiology, vascular, thoracic and colorectal patients in Rhode Island have been cared for by Brigham docs for a decade. We’ve been able to keep high quality care local, and triage to Brigham Health only when necessary – followed by well-coordinated follow-up care back at home in Rhode Island.
Less than one percent of patients have been transferred out of Kent – that’s out of the roughly 25,000 we see each year – and those are patients with rare or challenging conditions that require highly specialized care. For example, Dr. Melissa Murphy, who serves as Assistant Chief of Surgery at Kent Hospital, specializing in colon and rectal surgeries, says only 1 in roughly 45 of her patients go to Boston – only the most complex cases. For its part, the Brigham is routinely at or near capacity. Over the past year, BWH’s inpatient medical and surgical inpatient beds have been operating at 98 percent capacity.
A Care New England board will make decisions about how the new system is run.
Claim: Partners HealthCare is a high-cost organization and this acquisition is going to raise healthcare costs.
Reality: Managing healthcare costs is a major priority for us. We’ll work together to develop smart strategies to manage care utilization and reduce costs. For years, Brigham Health, Partners and CNE have been developing expanded primary care programs (population health management) that are focused on managing utilization and reducing costs.
Hospital rates have been negotiated and can’t be changed. (The Governor’s executive order keeps the growth in insurance premiums below 3.2 percent each year through 2022.) We plan to develop new, lower-cost, community-based ambulatory care centers. We continue to grow our experiences in ensuring that care is delivered in community-based settings, when appropriate, to further manage cost.
Claim: Most mergers result in downsizing or other job losses. What can you say about the jobs outlook for CNE?
Reality: CNE, Brigham Health and Partners are in a collaborative planning phase to explore the potential for clinical expansion and administrative synergies. If successful, clinical expansion has the potential to create more jobs.
Opportunities for efficiencies in our administrative functions does not automatically mean that jobs will be transferred or lost to Boston. In some cases, it may be both efficient and cost effective to maintain these jobs in Rhode Island.
Should staffing needs change, whether through administrative efficiency or for other business reasons, CNE and BH are committed to retraining employees and identifying alternative employment opportunities to the greatest extent possible.
Claim: Brigham Health is paying $0 for CNE and making no investments in the hospital system.
Reality: Bringing CNE into the Brigham family will further stabilize their finances, with the goal of establishing a healthy margin that will fund needed capital investments. Because both entities are not-for-profits, there is no actual “purchase price” as part of this transaction. The same would be true if Lifespan, or any other nonprofit organization, acquired CNE.
Claim: This will result in a “brain drain” of top docs and researchers to Harvard, where Partners is focused, and make it hard to recruit new doctors to RI.
Reality: Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School will be the primary academic research and teaching institution of record. We have cemented this in a formal agreement among all institutions, and Brigham Health is committed to partnering with CNE, Brown, Partners and other RI stakeholders to advance and support RI’s growing healthcare research ecosystem.
Brigham’s resources will help CNE recruit new physicians – particularly in specialty areas – to Rhode Island.
Claim: Lifespan should be part of the deal now, not later.
Reality: We’re focused right now on finalizing the transaction with CNE. While our formal talks with Lifespan ended in the fall, we share a common mission with Lifespan – to ensure that patients in Rhode Island have access to excellent care – so our relationship will always be an important one and we would be open to further discussion post-transaction.
Who We Are
Keeping care local is paramount to us. This is about building a stronger health system for the people of Rhode Island. This acquisition will advance high-quality care in local hospitals and ensure Rhode Islanders continue to have access to high-quality care close to home.
About Brigham Health
Consisting of its flagship Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Physician Organization and many related facilities and programs. Brigham Health is an international leader in clinical care, research and medical education.
About Care New England
Founded in 1996, Care New England is the parent organization of Butler Hospital, Kent Hospital, Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, The Providence Center, the VNA of Care New England, Care New England Medical Group and Integra.