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HCA's bid for Tennessee hospital should be reviewed, labor groups urge AG

Tennessee should review HCA Healthcare's proposed purchase of Springfield, Tenn.-based NorthCrest Health, labor and union groups wrote in a letter to state Attorney General Herbert Slatery.

At the end of March, Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA said it would purchase NorthCrest. Under the agreement, which requires regulatory approval, NorthCrest will be part of HCA's TriStar Health, which includes 10 hospitals in Tennessee. 

The letter, signed by Middle Tennessee Jobs with Justice, the Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle Tennessee and SEIU Local 205, argued the proposed deal "would likely substantially harm competition and have significant consequences on Tennessee patients and the larger healthcare industry in the region." They also raised concerns about how consolidation would affect healthcare prices in the Springfield area, and asked Mr. Slatery to review how the deal would affect patient care.

NorthCrest executives have expressed support for the purchase. At the time the transaction was announced, NorthCrest Health President and CEO Randy Davis said in a news release: "The last few months have given our leadership team and the board of trustees the opportunity to determine if a partnership with TriStar Health will benefit our region for generations to come. As our exploration process progressed, it became clearer that TriStar Health shares our commitment to the Robertson County community."

Leaders with TriStar have also said the organization is committed to improving care in the Springfield community. 

"Our commitment to the care and improvement of human life can be seen throughout every facet of NorthCrest Health, and we look forward to beginning the integration process and the opportunity to serve this community for generations to come," Mitch Edgeworth, TriStar Health's division president, said in a March 31 news release announcing the deal. 

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