- Care New England's board of directors voted unanimously to remain an independent health system after a failed bid to merge with Lifespan, Rhode Island's largest health system.
- Care New England, Rhode Island's second-largest health system, said it will develop key partnerships with Brown University and Lifespan to help improve its liquidity and operating performance.
- The vote follows months of examining offers and potential partnership structures, CNE said in a statement Wednesday.
Lifespan and CNE inked a deal in 2021 to merge, creating an academic medical system with Brown University and solidifying a $125 million commitment toward the creation of the system.
The Federal Trade Commission sued to block the deal in February, alleging that the combination would result in increased prices and diminished quality of care.
Care New England and Lifespan abandoned their merger plans earlier this year after deciding not to challenge the FTC's suit.
At the time, the boards of both systems decided not to pursue legislative action like obtaining a Certificate of Public Advantage, which would shield the combination from federal antitrust enforcement in exchange for prolonged state oversight.
The failed bid raised questions about whether CNE would remain independent.
In years prior, the system had considered merging with others, including Partners HealthCare in Boston, now known as Mass General Brigham.
But a deal with Partners fell through after then-Gov. Gina Raimondo encouraged CNE, Lifespan and Brown University to combing and create a locally-run health system in Rhode Island.
Nearly a year after the governor's prodding, the two announced they had revived talks of a merger. Eight months later, a deal was signed.
A few months later, the state insurance commissioner warned the deal would "significantly alter" the healthcare market, according to a 25-page report.
With Wednesday’s announcement, CNE is back to square one, looking to move forward as an independent operator.