Tenet Healthcare Corp. has received federal antitrust clearance to purchase Providence Memorial Hospital in El Paso, Texas, although the deal still must pass state regulatory hurdles.
The Santa Monica, Calif.-based hospital company now owns 365-bed Sierra Medical Center in El Paso. Sierra and 353-bed Providence, which is the city's largest private not-for-profit hospital, filed their required pre-merger notification documents with the federal government on July 12, according to attorney John Cusack of the Chicago office of Gardner, Carton & Douglas. Cusack was Providence's outside antitrust counsel.
The Justice Department cleared the deal on Aug. 13 without requesting any additional information.
The clearance will allow the merger of the city's second- and third-largest hospitals, giving them control of about 49% of the licensed beds in El Paso, excluding the local military hospital.
"What this shows is that the Justice Department is willing to bless mergers that will provide competition to (Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.) in markets where Columbia has a significant presence," Cusack said.
Columbia is El Paso's largest health system with four hospitals.