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25 unwound, canceled hospital deals

At least two dozen hospital mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, affiliations and partnerships were unwound or called off throughout the past 24 months.

Here are the ties between health systems that were unwound or deals that were abandoned before completion over the past two years, in reverse chronological order:

1. The University of Minnesota will purchase the four academic health facilities that make up M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center, a change of hands slated for completion in 2027 that would mark the end of the affiliation shared between Fairview, the university and U-M affiliated physicians. The organizations partnered in 2018.

2. Duluth, Minn.-based Essentia Health and Marshfield (Wis.) Clinic Health System in January 2024 ended their efforts to combine into a 25-hospital regional system. A spokesperson for Essentia said Marshfield's financial situation drove the decision to step away more than a year after merger talks began. 

3. Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine terminated its letter of intent in January 2024 to purchase Coatesville, Pa.-based Brandywine Hospital from West Reading, Pa.-based Tower Health. Penn Medicine said it determined that it would be unable to build infrastructure for the project in the space available on the hospital's campus. 

4. In December 2023, Walnut Creek, Calif.-based John Muir Health called off its plans to acquire San Ramon (Calif.) Regional Medical Center from majority owner Tenet Healthcare. The withdrawal came one month after the Federal Trade Commission sued to block the deal.

5. Baton Rouge, La.-based Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System and Ocean Springs, Miss.-based Singing River Health System mutually called off negotiations for a deal in which the former would acquire the latter. Talks between the organizations began in March and were halted in October 2023.

6. Albuquerque, N.M.-based Presbyterian Healthcare Services and West Des Moines, Iowa-based UnityPoint Health called off a planned $11 billion merger in October 2023. The systems said they had reached an agreement after "significant planning and consideration." No official reason was given immediately for the decision. The merger would have created a cross-regional system with nearly 50 hospitals. 

7. Louisville, Ky.-based Norton Healthcare and Brentwood, Tenn.-based LifePoint ended a joint venture known as Regional Health Network of Kentucky and Southern Indiana in August 2023. Norton Healthcare took on full ownership of two hospitals in Indiana upon the JV's unwinding. 

8. Centennial, Colo.-based Centura Health folded into CommonSpirit Health in August 2023, with the Chicago-based system now managing 20 Centura hospitals with plans to retire the Centura brand. CommonSpirit Health and Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based AdventHealth announced in February 2023 an end to their Centura Health joint venture, with AdventHealth now managing and operating five of the hospitals that were part of the Centura system.

9. Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Health and Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services halted their merger efforts to form a 50-hospital system in July 2023 after rolling out the plan to combine in November 2022.

10. Tewksbury, Mass.-based Covenant Health called off its plan to acquire Day Kimball Healthcare, a health system based in Putnam, Conn., in March 2023. The proposed deal faced opposition from a group of local residents concerned that Covenant, a Catholic health system, would limit services provided at independent Day Kimball, particularly reproductive services.

11. New Bern, N.C.-based CarolinaEast Health System ended its partnership with Chapel Hill, N.C.-based UNC Health in March 2023. The affiliation was formed in May 2021. CarolinaEast CEO Michael Smith said in a news release that it is no longer in the best interests of both health systems to maintain the affiliation agreement.

12. In February 2023, State University of New York Upstate Medical University and Crouse Health System abandoned merger plans, which were proposed in April 2022 by the Syracuse, N.Y.-based systems. The FTC had voiced opposition to the deal, claiming it would leave Syracuse with just two hospital systems — Upstate and St. Joseph's Health — and give the combined entity a 67 percent share of commercially insured inpatient services in Onondaga County.

13. West Reading, Pa.-based Tower Health and Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine announced in February 2023 their decision to no longer pursue a strategic alliance, which was unveiled in July 2021. The systems said they will continue to work together in "areas of mutual interest." 

14. Worcester, Mass.-based UMass Memorial Health and Gardner, Mass.-based Heywood Healthcare called off affiliation plans in January 2023. The systems had signed a nonbinding letter of intent in May to explore Heywood joining UMass Memorial Health, but UMass Memorial President and CEO Eric Dickson said "the difficult healthcare environment" makes it an inopportune time for the corporate affiliation.

15. Toledo, Ohio-based ProMedica announced in November 2022 its exit from a joint venture with Welltower for 147 skilled nursing assets. ProMedica had held a 15 percent interest in the JV. 

16. Elkins, W.Va.-based Davis Health System and Morgantown, W.Va.-based WVU Medicine ended an affiliation in August 2022 over Davis' choices of EHR vendor.

17. Tucson, Ariz.-based TMC Health ended its bid in early June 2022 to buy Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital in Green Valley, Ariz., which later closed.

18. Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare and Dallas-based Steward Health Care System abandoned their proposed deal involving five Utah hospitals in June 2022. The decision came 13 days after the Federal Trade Commission challenged the transaction.

19. Two New Jersey health systems — Saint Peter's Healthcare System and RWJBarnabas Health — terminated a definitive agreement to merge in June 2022. Leadership of New Brunswick-based Saint Peter's Healthcare System and West Orange-based RWJ Barnabas Health agreed to call off the deal after the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit to block the transaction.

20. Lebanon, N.H.-based Dartmouth Health and Manchester, N.H.-based GraniteOne Health canceled their proposed merger in May 2022 after the state Attorney General's Office said the move would violate the New Hampshire constitution.

21. In April 2022, St. Louis-based Ascension and Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based AdventHealth unwound their joint venture, Amita Health, which was formed in 2015 and provided healthcare services in the greater Chicago area with 15 acute-care hospitals, four specialty hospitals and immediate and outpatient care centers.

22. Edison, N.J.-based Hackensack Meridian Health and Englewood (N.J.) Health ended merger plans in April 2022. The Federal Trade Commission challenged the deal in 2020, arguing it would give Hackensack Meridian control of three of the six hospitals in Bergen County and raise healthcare costs.

23. The boards of Lifespan and Care New England — both based in Providence, R.I. — withdrew their merger application in February 2022 after the Federal Trade Commission announced it would file suit to block the deal.

24. Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, Calif., and Providence, a Catholic health system based in Renton, Wash., announced in January 2022 that they would end their affiliation.

25. Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic abandoned its plan in January 2022 to buy West Reading, Pa.-based Tower Health's Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia.

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