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Federal court affirms decision to block Hackensack Meridian, Englewood merger

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit affirmed the order of the District Court to block  Edison, N.J.-based Hackensack Meridian Health's proposed merger with Englewood (N.J.) Health, according to court documents obtained by Becker's

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, nj.com reported. U.S. Circuit Judge D. Michael Fisher agreed the acquisition would raise prices.

The systems had said merging some operations would net savings, according to nj.com.

Englewood Health is still in a strong financial position despite the rejection of the deal, it said in a statement shared with Becker's.

"Although this is not the decision we had hoped for, we entered merger planning from a position of strength," the statement said. "Englewood Health continues to thrive and remains strong. The goal of the planned merger had always been to improve healthcare for the communities we serve. This goal has not changed. Englewood Health will continue to move forward with our strategic plan, enhancing our services and improving access for patients and communities across northern New Jersey."

Hackensack Meridian is considering its next steps, it said in a statement shared with nj.com.

"We firmly believe this merger is in the best interest of our patients and the community at large. At this time, we are weighing the next steps that are in the best interest of the communities we serve," the statement said.

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