“Failure of Health Policy in RI” - Former Director of Health on Care New England - Partners Merger: A Blackstone Valley Community Health Care News Article

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“Failure of Health Policy in RI” - Former Director of Health on Care New England - Partners Merger

Fine made the comments during GoLocal LIVE with Kate Nagle, and spoke to what he thinks the state needs to do to have a viable healthcare industry.

On the Record

“What we need to do is get to a healthcare system that’s the right size, that takes care of people effectively, efficiently, and affordably,” said Fine. 

“To me, this merger means more cost, and less efficiency. It means more cost, because Partners is a very expensive institution, and I think that they have the ability to use their market power to drive [up] costs somewhat, which is dangerous for the state,” added Fine.

Fine offered what he believes is a more viable healthcare structure in Rhode Island.

“What we need to do as a state isn’t to maintain hospitals, but to shrink them,” said Fine. “We probably need to close two, or three, or four hospitals if we’re going to get to right size.  And there’s no political appetite for doing so, which is our challenge. What we really need to do is find a way to reduce costs so that healthcare in Rhode Island more affordable than healthcare in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and we haven’t done anything to get us there.

“It’s feasible from a healthcare perspective but in Rhode Island it’s difficult as heck from a political perspective,” said Fine. “We need to look at ourselves and ask why we can’t do what’s in the best interest of the public. It’s clearly in hospitals’ interest to force you into using their services.”

Latest in Healthcare News

The Care New England Health System announced Tuesday that it is implementing “additional staff restructuring as a result of ongoing financial challenges,” with the majority of the reductions taking place at Women & Infants Hospital. 

Butler, Kent hospitals and VNA will also be impacted by the reductions. 

“We are in the midst of enormous change in healthcare in Rhode Island and across the nation. Although extremely painful, these actions are intended to improve our ability to serve our patients well into the future as we react to the continuing shift in the landscape of health care," said Drs. Lawrence Price, President, Butler Hospital and Michael Dacey, President, Kent Hospital, and Kathleen Peirce, vice president of operations, executive director and chief nursing officer, VNA of CNE.