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West Virginia United Health Merger Delayed Over Insurer's Antitrust Concerns

The merger of St. Joseph's Hospital in Parkersburg, W.Va., and Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital, also in Parkersburg, with Fairmont, W.Va.-based West Virginia United Health System has been delayed over antitrust concerns voiced by insurer The Health Plan of the Upper Ohio Valley, according to a News and Sentinel report.

The deal to bring St. Joseph and Camden-Clark under the WVUHS umbrella was expected to be completed by Feb. 1, 2011. The deal has already been approved by the FTC.

However, the Ohio insurer has sent a letter to the West Virginia Healthcare Authority requesting a hearing on the deal, saying it "will result in an anti-competitive situation and immediately increase hospital rates in the future for the healthcare purchasing public in the Parkersburg area and is not in the best interest of the citizens of the state," according to the report.

The groups are working to schedule a hearing, which is not expected to occur until after the new year, delaying the merger, according to the report.

Read the News and Sentinel report on West Virginia United Health System.

Read more coverage on West Virginia United Health System:

- FTC Approves Merger of Two Hospitals With West Virginia United Health

West Virginia United Health System to Acquire Hospital, Affiliate With Another

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