PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The FTC announced today that it intends to file suit to block the Lifespan and Care New England merger, citing competition concerns, the only factor on which the FTC bases its decision. On four separate occasions in prior years, the FTC reviewed the same proposed merger and allowed it to proceed. Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha is joining the FTC in challenging the merger.
Management teams from both parties have been working diligently since early June, 2021. Lifespan and Care New England had offered to the FTC and the AG 30 conditions that both systems would accept as a starting point to address concerns about the merger but neither the FTC or the AG ever discussed these conditions or others with the two systems prior to today’s decisions.
“We are extremely disappointed by the decision of the FTC, as we know that the status quo will not well serve the healthcare needs of the people of Rhode Island,” said Lawrence A. Aubin, Sr., Lifespan Board of Directors Chairman. “We are committed to continued work to meet those needs now and into the future.
Charles Reppucci, Care New England Board of Directors Chairman, said, “Rhode Island deserves the best possible solution to serve their health and wellbeing. While this is very disappointing, we will always keep the patients at the forefront and our teams will continue their day to day focus on patient care, and management will come together to thoughfully seek out the best solution for the future .”
Care New England President and CEO James E. Fanale, M.D., said, “Of course, we are disappointed, but I will say that we can truly know that we did everything we could over the past few years of hard work to get this done. We thought it was the right thing to do, but now we will need to move on to a new path forward. There is always a path forward, and we will explore all options to find the best possible – and acceptable to regulatory bodies –solution for access to affordable, quality, health care.”
“A Rhode Island solution, that remains nonprofit, and creates the state’s first fully integrated academic health care system is what we seek to accomplish for the state and that remains our overriding goal,” said Lifespan President and CEO Timothy J. Babineau, M.D. “We have articulated the incredible and transformative value to the state in making that vision a reality. Further, the healthcare market for Rhode Island spans outside the borders of the state, well into MA and CT, and so too should the economic and competitive considerations to allow us to create the same type of health care system that many other cities including Boston, New Haven, Pittsburgh and many others are able to enjoy. I am deeply disappointed in today’s decisions.”