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SSM Health to purchase St. Louis University Hospital

St. Louis-based SSM Health plans to expand its network through the purchase of St. Louis University Hospital from St. Louis University, which is in the process of acquiring the hospital from Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Tenet's sale of 365-bed SLU Hospital to St. Louis University is slated to close during the third quarter of 2015. Tenet has operated the university hospital since its 1998 acquisition.

After the completion of the sale, as part of a separate transaction, the university will sell SLU Hospital to SSM Health. As a condition of the deal, St. Louis University will hold a minority membership interest — including both a financial interest and governance privileges — in SSM Health St. Louis, according to the report.

SSM Health, a nonprofit, Catholic health system, has wanted to include an academic medical facility in its system for years. In 1998, when St. Louis University put SLU Hospital up for sale, SSM sought to buy it, but Tenet Healthcare outbid SSM Health by $100 million with a total bid of $300 million, according to the report.

SSM Health's purchase of SLU Hospital will resolve tensions that have persisted between Tenet and the academic medical center since Tenet's purchase of it, according to the report. However, this new deal may give unions an entrance to SSM's operations, as St. Louis University Hospital belongs to the National Nurses United union.

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