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CommonSpirit's plan to sell 14 hospitals to Essentia abandoned

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Duluth, Minn.-based Essentia Health and Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health have abandoned a deal that would have added 14 hospitals and three clinics to Essentia Health's network.

The two organizations announced the end of negotiations May 18. CommonSpirit and Essentia signed a letter of intent in January to explore the sale.

"While we share a similar mission, vision, values and strong commitment to sustainable rural healthcare, CommonSpirit and Essentia were unable to come to an agreement that would serve the best interests of both organizations, the people we employ and the patients we serve," according to a joint statement from the health systems. 

Under the letter of intent announced in January, 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. 

"CommonSpirit and Essentia will continue to offer outstanding care in North Dakota and Minnesota. We’ve strengthened our relationship throughout this process and remain committed to possibilities in the future," the joint statement said.

The abandonment news comes about two weeks after more than 700 nurses and healthcare workers filed a petition expressing concern over the deal. The Minnesota Nurses Association, healthcare workers at Essentia and CHI Health said they are worried that the acquisition would result in layoffs and less access to patient care.

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