When he worked here, the current CEO of the Caritas Christi system would often look wistfully to the south and ask us to consider taking over the troubled Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket. We put the kibosh on that idea faster that you can say, "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations."
Now, according to this Boston Globe story by Rob Weisman, he is pursuing the same plan. I think it's time for the SEIU to investigate this. After all, they are keen on increasing state aid to a financially troubled Massachusetts hospital in the Caritas system. They can't also be in favor of transferring those state funds and charitable assets to support a financially troubled system in another state.
What's the real play here? Perhaps it is the hope that cardiac surgery cases from Landmark would be referred to St. Elizabeth's Hospital, a Caritas subsidiary. How that would help Rhode Islanders is an interesting question. Would the Boston-based doctors and hospital be paid Massachusetts-level insurance rates, which are higher than Rhode Island's? How would Blue Cross of Rhode Island feel about that? Perhaps the doctors and hospital would be paid the lower-than-Boston-market Rhode Island rates? Would Rhode Island's Lifespan system stand by idly and watch this business leave their hospitals?
This is all too hard to understand. It seems to me that if you strap two leaky lifeboats together, they sink faster. Perhaps people could be more transparent about their intentions and hopes.