Kaufman Hall Advises Care New England on Proposed Partnership with Southcoast

Providence Rhode Island-based Care New England Health System announced this week that it has chosen Southcoast Health System, Inc., a four-hospital health care system located in southeastern Massachusetts, as a potential strategic partner. The two organizations have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to engage in exclusive discussions and to work toward the goal of forming a new not-for-profit parent organization that would oversee both systems.

Kaufman Hall is serving as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to the Care New England leadership team in pursuing the partnership.

Read Kaufman Hall’s perspective on how some high-performing health systems are entering into transformative partnerships to form entirely new entities that offer better, more convenient care at lower cost in response to the shift to a value-based healthcare system.

If the two health systems come together, the new organization would become one of New England’s largest not-for-profit health care systems dedicated to the advancement of population health, the delivery of community-based care and a commitment to academic medicine. It would encompass eight hospitals, an expansive network of ambulatory sites, two established Accountable Care Organizations, more than 1,700 aligned physicians and providers, and a continuation of the academic relationship that both organizations currently enjoy with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

The announcement follows a comprehensive and deliberative process undertaken by the Care New England Board of Directors to assess the need for a strategic partner and enlist proposals from a number of organizations. During that process, which was facilitated by Kaufman Hall, the Care New England Board and senior leaders evaluated potential partners against defined criteria and considerations which included clinical program quality, population health management, physician enterprise, academic focus, governance and corporate infrastructure, capital commitment, community benefit, and mission alignment.

“In most every respect,” commented George W. Shuster, chairman of the CNE Board, in a press release issued on a Monday. “Southcoast represents the best possible choice in enabling us to move forward strengthening quality, transitioning to population health, improving the value proposition, finding the right structural and cultural fit for both organizations, and maintaining our valued relationships with key academic, provider and organizational partners. We believe this partnership will truly be a win for our community.”

The execution of the LOI paves the way for the two organizations to conduct due diligence and work toward the development of a definitive agreement. The hope is, following this phase, the organizations would agree to partnership terms and move forward with the needed approvals, including state and federal regulatory processes.
“We believe the complementary services of Southcoast and the geographic span of their service area will enable us to advance the high quality, high value continuum of care we have been building,” said CNE CEO Dennis Keefe in the same press release. “We already see the common ties to community and an unwavering commitment to mission and values both our organizations share, and we look forward to further study of the partnership potentials that could come to fruition in a new vision for health care delivery for our region.”

To learn more about how Kaufman Hall is assisting healthcare providers with strategic partnerships, contact Managing Directors Ryan Gish and Patrick Allen at rgish@kaufmanhall.com and pallen@kaufmanhall.com or 847.441.8780.