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8 hospital mergers, acquisitions called off

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Below are eight hospital mergers called off since late May 2020, beginning with the most recent:

1. Sentara, Cone Health nix merger

Norfolk, Va.-based Sentara Healthcare and Greensboro, N.C.-based Cone Health abandoned their plans to merge into an $11.5 billion system, the organizations said in a joint statement June 2. The health systems said they mutually agreed to end the plans in late May. Leaders said they believe their respective organizations will be better served by remaining independent. The two healthcare systems announced plans to combine last August, a deal that would have formed an $11.5 billion system with 17 hospitals in Virginia and North Carolina.  

2. CommonSpirit's plan to sell 14 hospitals to Essentia abandoned

Duluth, Minn.-based Essentia Health and Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health abandoned a deal that would have added 14 hospitals and three clinics to Essentia Health's network. The organizations said they were "unable to come to an agreement that would serve the best interests of both organizations, the people [they] employ and the patients [they] serve." The two organizations announced the end of negotiations May 18. CommonSpirit and Essentia signed a letter of intent in January to explore the sale, under which CommonSpirit-owned facilities operating under the CHI Health brand in North Dakota and Minnesota would have joined Essentia Health. The deal included a full-service tertiary hospital in Bismarck, N.D., and 13 critical-access hospitals, as well as associated clinics and living communities. 

3. Sanford no longer pursuing Intermountain merger

Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Health said March 15 that it is no longer pursuing a merger with Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare. Sanford and Intermountain announced in October 2020 that they had inked a letter of intent to merge, with completion of the deal expected in 2021. The combination would have created a $15 billion, 70-hospital system. The deal was canceled after Sanford indefinitely suspended merger discussions in early December because of the abrupt exit of its longtime president and CEO, Kelby Krabbenhoft. 

4. Georgia health systems drop plan to combine

Macon, Ga.-based Atrium Health Navicent and Warner Robins, Ga.-based Houston Healthcare have abandoned a plan to combine, according to a joint statement obtained by Becker's Hospital Review on Feb. 25. The hospital systems said the decision to end their "strategic combination" was mutual and a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The two Georgia health systems began talks to align their organizations in late 2017. It was never considered a merger or acquisition. 

5. Advocate Aurora, Beaumont cancel merger

Advocate Aurora Health, which has dual headquarters in Milwaukee and Downers Grove, Ill., and Southfield, Mich.-based Beaumont Health called off their merger Oct. 2. The proposed merger faced criticism from some staff at Beaumont, including physicians, nurses and donors. In August, the Beaumont board of trustees confirmed it would delay a vote on the planned merger. The trustees decided to postpone the vote after seeing the results of a survey, completed by 1,500 of the system's 5,000 physicians, that revealed a lack of confidence in Beaumont's leadership and concerns about its proposed merger with Advocate Aurora. The merger of Beaumont and Advocate Aurora would have created a $17 billion system with 36 hospitals.

6. California hospital ends merger talks with Dignity Health

County officials overseeing Ventura (Calif.) County Medical Center ended merger talks with San Francisco-based Dignity Health in July after leaders from both parties deemed an affiliation too risky. County Health Care Agency Director Bill Foley said Dignity officials considered it a risk to take on public hospitals, while county managers were concerned they would give up control but still face risk for buildings and finances. County officials also were concerned VCMC would lose its designation as a public hospital under either a lease or a contract with Dignity, which would put roughly $150 million in annual funding at risk. 

7. Beaumont, Summa Health cancel $6.1B merger plan  

Southfield, Mich.-based Beaumont Health called off a proposed merger with Akron, Ohio-based Summa Health in late May. They ended talks about five months after signing a definitive agreement, under which Summa Health would have become a subsidiary of Beaumont. The proposed deal, which already had received all necessary regulatory approvals, would have created a nonprofit system with 12 hospitals and $6.1 billion in annual revenue. 

8. 4 Chicago hospitals call off $1.1B merger plan  

Four Chicago hospitals signed a letter of intent in January 2020 to combine into a single health system. The four hospitals, Advocate Trinity Hospital, Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, South Shore Hospital and St. Bernard Hospital, called off the deal in late May after government funding for the $1.1 billion plan fell through. 

Ayla Ellison contributed to this report. 

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