Care New England’s Board Votes to Close Memorial Hospital, Prime Deal Collapses

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


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The pending sale of Pawtucket’s Memorial Hospital is unraveling over the length of the agreement Prime Healthcare and Prime is refusing to take over pension obligations. As a result, the Board of Care New England has voted to close Memorial -- impacting hundreds of healthcare workers.

As GoLocal reported back in May, one of the keys to stabilizing Rhode Island’s fragile hospital system is the acquisition by Prime Healthcare Services of Memorial Hospital from CNE.

Prime, however, is in the midst of growing financial turmoil and is facing an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

CharterCare -- owned by Prospect in California has previously voiced interest in buying all of CNE and is now interested in taking over Memorial, according to sources.

Memorial - Center of CNE Debt

Memorial Hospital’s financial collapse is one of the reasons why CNE is piling up debt and entered an agreement to be purchased by Massachusetts-based mega healthcare group Partners.

According to multiple sources, Pawtucket and Rhode Island state officials have been briefed.

Care New England recorded a $68 million loss from operations in the fiscal year 2016 and is projected to show a $49 million operating loss for the fiscal year that just ended on September 30. Its plan to restore financial well-being to the health care system focuses on continued work on revenue improvement and cost reduction, and resolution of the ongoing losses at Memorial.

Care New England’s James E. Fanale, MD, EVP, chief operating officer and chief clinical officer, said it will be the utmost priority in the plan for Memorial to continue to provide high-quality patient care, while working to address options to ensure access to care for patients in the community including maintaining a robust primary care presence. CNE will also develop a plan to address the Memorial-based medical residency training program with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

“While difficult, these actions represent a necessary and critical step in restoring financial health to Care New England while ensuring the future of hospitals and facilities many have come to rely on for their care,” continued Reppucci. “This has been a long and complex process that has been met with unrelenting dedication and compassionate care from all who work at Memorial Hospital. We will support both the employees and the community in this transition so the well-established legacy of care in Pawtucket is not lost, but rather adapted for the demands of today’s health care landscape.”

The unraveling of the Prime purchase of Memorial may have a domino effect on the CNE deal with Partner HealthCare in Boston. Partners has already voiced concerns about CNE's financial situation. Pawtucket officials are scrambling to meet with Governor Raimondo's staff and state officials to try to preserve the hospital and the jobs.


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