(Providence, RI) -- The Rhode Island Department of Health is allowing for a fast-tracked review of a requested merger between Care New England and Massachusetts-based Partners Health Care. Care New England is the second-largest healthcare system in the state and owns Women and Infants, Butler and Kent hospitals, among others. The decision means there will not a required public hearing for the proposal. Rhode Island's largest hospital system, Lifespan, released a statement saying it was surprised by the health department's decision.
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