RI Commerce’s Pryor Concerned About RI Job Loss if Partners Buys Care New England
Friday, January 26, 2018
The battle over the future of Rhode Island’s healthcare future took a number of significant turns on Thursday when Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor raised serious concerns about the adverse impact that Partners HealthCare’s purchase of Care New England (CNE) could have on the Rhode Island economy.http://www.golocalprov.com/news/new-trinitys-joe-wilson-jr.-to-broadway-as-denzel-washington-understudy
Pryor made the comments during his appearance on GoLocal LIVE in an interview with News Editor Kate Nagle.
Commerce Secretary Pryor Raises Questions
Just hours before Pryor’s comments, Partners announced that ir was moving forward in the process of entering into a “definitive agreement” with the financially struggling CNE.
“This [Partners acquisition of CNE] is of concern. That doesn’t mean it won’t ultimately resolve in a way that’s good for Rhode Island, but we need to track it closely,” said Pryor on LIVE. “My departments are not the regulators per se. There could be an element that ultimately comes before us. But still we have to be cautious as the state and the Governor’s administration ultimately needs to approve.”
“That being said, thousands of jobs are at issue, important healthcare jobs. And the healthcare access of Rhode Islanders is at issue. Rhode Islanders shouldn’t have to go north to get their healthcare. They shouldn’t have to find their way to specialty care,” said Pryor, whose comments are similar to Brown University President Christina Paxson who has come out in strong opposition to the Partners and CNE deal.
“We need to be very careful about analyzing any deal here. If Brown has concerns, Brown is an academic partner to multiple healthcare institutions in the state, and multiple hospitals in Rhode Island, including the Care New England system — we need to be mindful of that, because it means the quality of our care could be at risk if Brown is not a key collaborator with whatever results,” said Pryor. “It also means that the research and development — the R&D — that churns out of these medical institutions — could be at risk.”
Paxson has warned that the impact of Partners on the Rhode Island economy and jobs would be detrimental.
“I feel strongly that letting this acquisition go forward would be wrong for Rhode Island and for Brown. Doing so is likely to lead to specialty healthcare shifting to Massachusetts, impeding access to healthcare for Rhode Islanders and especially for members of the state’s underserved communities,” Paxson wrote in a letter to the Brown community that was released to the public and media.
“We want those jobs, we want the ventures in the bio-science space to stay in Rhode Island, so there’s a lot to pay attention to — and we are going to pay attention,” added Pryor.
He also discussed Rhode Island’s economy, the troubled PawSox deal and the Speaker’s position, and new initiatives by Commerce to support small businesses.