Sisters of Mercy in Missouri May Merge With Multispecialty Physician Group

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Sisters of Mercy Health System, based in Chesterfield, Mo., and Patients First, a Washington, Mo.-based multispecialty physician group, have announced they are in exclusive negotiations toward a merger.

The health system and physician group signed a nonbinding letter of intent this week to explore full integration of physicians, services and physical assets. Negotiations between Mercy and Patients First — which began in the fall of 2011 — are coming after several years of a contentious relationship between the two. In 2009, several Patients First cardiologists working in a Mercy hospital in Washington, Mo., had their privileges revoked. Last fall, Mercy filed a lawsuit against a state health planner's decision to allow Patients First to construct a three-bed hospital in Washington without a certificate of need because the project was under a $1 million threshold. A Missouri court ruled just this week in favor of Patients First in that case.  

Given the less than courteous history between Mercy and Patients First, it may be surprising that merger negotiations are in the works. However, Mercy and Patients First partnered in early April to consolidate cancer care services in Washington, Mo.

Mercy operates 31 hospitals and 200 outpatient facilities across four states and generates $4 billion annually in revenue. Patients First is a collaboration of 80 physicians across six counties in Missouri.

More Hospital Merger News:

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6 Recent Hospital Mergers & Acquisitions
5 Key Questions for Healthcare Executives Considering a Transaction

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