SIGN UP: Get Nesi’s Notes by Email

Happy Saturday! Here’s another edition of my weekend column for WPRI.com – as always, send your takes, tips and trial balloons to [email protected] and follow @tednesi on Twitter.

1. All of a sudden, the debate over Care New England’s future has the attention of the State House. Two influential lawmakers, Sen. Lou DiPalma and Rep. Ken Marshall, want to force the company’s proposed merger with Boston giant Partners to go through a stricter regulatory review than currently required. Marshall followed up this week with a second bill, this one to create a legislative study commission that would examine hospital consolidation more broadly. The industry “is extremely important to the citizens of Rhode Island, the economic stability of our state, and our investment in health care education,” he said. Marie Ganim, the state’s health insurer commissioner (and a former top aide to Teresa Paiva Weed), injected some new insight into the discussion with the release of an independent study commissioned by her office. The report by Bailit Health acknowledges Partners could raise prices – but also suggests it may be inevitable that CNE becomes part of a larger entity to improve its finances. Also ramping up its advocacy is Prospect Medical Holdings, which wants to take over CNE in partnership with Brown University – the latest sign being Prospect’s hiring of PR veteran Bill Fischer to craft its message opposing the Partners deal. At Care New England, meanwhile, executives are feeling better as they complete the closure of Memorial Hospital and see signs of a turnaround at Women & Infants, Kent and Butler. “Care New England isn’t dead yet,” CEO James Fanale quipped to bondholders in a conference call Friday. Fanale said he hopes the Partners deal can be completed by the end

Read More Here...