A statement from United Nurses and Allied
Professionals President Lynn Blais, R.N. on
StoneBridge Healthcare’s attempt to buy
Care New England
Providence, RI - Lynn Blais, R.N., President of the United Nurses and Allied Professionals (UNAP), the state’s largest healthcare union, representing more than 7,000 nurses and health professionals, including roughly 1,500 in the Care New England system, issued a statement today in response to StoneBridge Healthcare’s attempt to buy Care New England.
“During the debate over the proposed Lifespan/Care New England hospital merger, the UNAP warned that a major consequence of rejecting this merger would be the emergence of private equity-funded, corporate vultures looking to take over Care New England, our state’s second largest healthcare system. The ink hasn’t even dried on the Attorney General’s decision to reject the merger, and StoneBridge Healthcare has swooped in trying to take advantage of Care New England when they’re vulnerable.”
“Our union has major concerns about this potential sale, and we urge Care New England and state leaders to ask the tough questions. Is StoneBridge, which was just created in 2020 and has never owned a single hospital, truly a “not-for-profit” or are they a for-profit masquerading as a not-for-profit? Will the not-for-profit StoneBridge pay exorbitant management fees back to their for-profit operation, similar to how the “not-for-profit” Prime Healthcare does it with Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket? Will StoneBridge be another Prospect Medical Holdings, who has consistently put profits before patient care, and used Our Lady of Fatima and Roger Williams Medical Center as collateral to take huge loans and then pay dividends to shareholders – all while pulling resources away from the actual healthcare facilities? Put simply, is StoneBridge a wolf in sheep’s clothing?
“StoneBridge’s Josh Nemzoff has said he’s not doing this to “make a lot of money”, but we have reason to be skeptical. We’ve seen this scenario play out before, right here in Rhode Island. An out of state operation comes in saying all the right things and making all the right promises, only to turn around and break these promises once they gain a foothold in Rhode Island, all to make a quick buck. Care New England and state regulators can’t rush into an agreement that will plunge Rhode Island further into the depths of for-profit healthcare. Now is the time to be deliberate, speak to the key stakeholders, and make an informed decision that ensures we don’t allow any more bad actors onto the healthcare scene in Rhode Island. Our healthcare professionals and patients deserve nothing less.”