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Jefferson Healthcare rescinds proposal to acquire Washington behavioral health hospital

Port Townsend, Wash.-based Jefferson Healthcare officials said the health system is backing off its proposed acquisition of Discovery Behavioral Health, also in Port Townsend, and is instead pursuing a "tight affiliation," according to the ptleader.com.

Mike Glenn, CEO of Jefferson Healthcare, told commissioners Aug. 16 the organizations reached a consensus on the framework of an agreement after months of negotiations, the report states.

Mr. Glenn outlined a series of barriers to a full acquisition of DBH to the publication, including the lack of a working example of an acquisition involving a critical access hospital and a behavioral health facility, compatibility issues between the organizations' different EHRs and uncertainty over financial reimbursements.

Jefferson Healthcare comprises a 25-bed critical access hospital and nine urgent care clinics.

"In February, we came to the board and said we want to move with an affiliation process that could lead all the way up to acquisition, and the board said proceed," Mr. Glenn said. "[Now] this is moving more to a tight affiliation than a full-out acquisition."

Mr. Glenn said officials hope to present a formalized affiliation proposal to the Jefferson Healthcare board of directors and DBH officials in September, according to the report.

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