Although your story on hospital mergers (Dec. 6, 1993, p. 39) was interesting, it was often inaccurate in its references to the situation in Minot, N.D.
Contrary to your story, St. Joseph's Hospital in Minot didn't offer to buy Trinity Medical Center by placing a full-page advertisement in the daily newspaper. St. Joseph's advertising followed a private offer to buy Trinity, and the advertising wasn't related to the proposal itself but rather to the benefits a merger would bring to the community. St. Joseph's board also publicly indicated that they were willing to consider any proposals that would result in a unified system, whether that involved a purchase or not.
You reported that the talks "broke down over local control issues and the fate of a $1.4 million building that St. Joseph's is constructing for a multispecialty medical group in town. Trinity wanted the building to be part of the merger."
That building isn't being constructed by St. Joseph's, but rather by Franciscan Initiatives, a subsidiary of St. Joseph's parent corporation. Also, the building isn't being constructed for a particular medical group; it will be inhabited by a medical group as well as several independent physicians who aren't associated with the group. Finally, Trinity's board was adamant from the start that the building wouldn't be included as part of the merger, and they refused to discuss a merger even when Franciscan Initiatives agreed to keep the building out of the merger talks.
You also reported that Trinity asked the state to review the building for certificate-of-need approval and that the state did and awarded the CON for the building. However, you could have mentioned that no physician office building in North Dakota has ever been subjected to CON review and that Trinity had purchased two physician buildings in recent months that cost more than the $750,000 CON limit, yet still is appealing the state's approval of the Franciscan Initiatives' CON.
St. Joseph's Hospital