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Prime Healthcare, Saint Clare's Health System Merger Delayed

The expected closing date for the sale of Denville, N.J.-based Saint Clare's Health System to Ontario, Calif.-based, for-profit Prime Healthcare Services has been pushed back to the first half of 2014, according to a report from The Star-Ledger.

Saint Clare's originally expected the transaction to close this year, but its completion has been delayed due to "the normal course of the state's review process," wrote Saint Clare's Manager of Marketing Communications Stephanie Galloway in an email to The Star-Ledger.

In May, Saint Clare's signed an asset purchase agreement with Prime Healthcare. Under the agreement, Prime will acquire all of Saint Clare's assets except the Saint Clare's Foundation, and it intends to rehire all current employees and maintain current charity care policies. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Prime is also in the process of acquiring Saint Michael's Medical Center in Newark, N.J., and Saint Mary's Hospital in Passaic, N.J., pending state approval.

State officials have raised concerns about the impact the for-profit hospital operator could have on quality of care, according to the report. The state's health department has reportedly asked Prime to provide documents from the California Department of Health to see if Prime hospitals in that state exceed the average rate of certain conditions such as malignant hypertension and acute heart failure.

Prime has said any higher-than-average rates are the results of physicians at its hospitals diagnosing those conditions at a higher rate and catching what others miss, according to the report.

More Articles on Hospital Acquisitions:
Rhode Island Approves Prime's Acquisition of Landmark Medical Center
Prime to Issue $475M in Debt to Cover M&A Costs
New Jersey Lawmakers Want More Transparency in For-Profit Hospital Acquisitions 

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