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Waterbury Hospital, St. Mary's Hospital in Connecticut Call Off Merger

Waterbury (Conn.) Hospital officials called off the potential merger with St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury after more than a year of negotiations, according to a Hartford Courant report.

The hospitals announced a potential merger in August 2011 as part of a deal with LHP Hospital Group in Plano, Texas. LHP would have taken over operations of both hospitals with 80 percent ownership in the new venture, each hospital retaining a 10 percent stake.

Officials decided to forego the merger plans due to difficulties resolving women's healthcare services with ethical and religious directives of the Catholic Church, according to the report. While Waterbury Hospital officials approved the merger in April, the hospitals found it challenging to reach an agreement over birth control and other reproductive procedures.

In September, LHP pulled out of the deal due to these issues. Dan Moen, CEO of LHP Hospital Group, said he wished both hospitals well, and he left the door open for a resumption of merger talks, according to the report. "After a great deal of work by all three parties, it became clear to LHP that the unresolved issues are really community issues that the citizens of Waterbury have to address on their own," Mr. Moen said, according to the report. "We are disappointed that the original joint venture, as proposed, will not occur. If the community finds a way to address those issues, then LHP would gladly come back to the table."

The future of Waterbury Hospital and St. Mary's Hospital is unclear. According to the report, Carl Contadini, chairman of Waterbury Hospital's board of directors, said the board was working to chart a new course, including actively seeking new partnerships to strengthen the hospital.

More Articles on Hospital Mergers:

Capella Healthcare and Mercy Health to Join Hospitals in Arkansas
Hospital Consolidation Driven by Uncertainty in Washington, Private Equity Interest
5 Tips to Avoid Issues Between Hospital Boards During a Transaction

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