More than a year after announcing their intention to merge, Lifespan and Care New England have yet to complete the state-mandated application, much less merge.
Their combination has been touted as a competitive necessity by its advocates, who see Boston-based health providers taking patients and talented physicians from Rhode Island.
Combining the two health systems – and investing in an expansion of the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University – so supporters of the combination say, would create a world-class research and treatment center and in the process help expand the region’s nascent biotechnology sector.
Those who question the merger wonder if the system would create an outsized and unresponsive medical establishment, one that potentially could make the already difficult situation that community hospitals finds themselves in even worse.
As they continue to pursue their merger, the questions still remains, should they be allowed to combine?