Pittsburgh's South Hills Health System and St. Clair Hospital have ended discussions on a potential merger.
Mary Cvetan, a South Hills spokeswoman, confirmed that officials of both institutions mutually agreed to cease discussions as of Aug. 20. In April, the institutions announced their intent to explore a partnership (April 15, p. 34) and had been actively engaged in those talks for several months.
Cvetan said South Hills officials had determined that a merger with St. Clair wouldn't be beneficial to the system's employees, medical staff, board members or community members. She declined to cite specific reasons for the breakup.
A spokeswoman for 337-bed St. Clair said Benjamin Snead, the hospital's president, was answering all inquiries on the discussions with South Hills. But at deadline, he wasn't available for comment.
South Hills, which operates 392-bed Jefferson Hospital and numerous ambulatory- and long-term-care services, is not engaged in other partnership discussions, Cvetan said.
South Hills remains a member of Tri-State Health System, a healthcare network led by University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, while St. Clair is a member of a competing network, now called Pyramid (formerly Southwest Integrated Delivery Network).
Meanwhile, a third major network emerged in the Pittsburgh market last week. The new organization, called Community Health Partners, will be jointly owned and governed by participating physicians and health systems, including Western Pennsylvania Healthcare System, Pittsburgh Mercy Health System and more than 150 primary-care physicians.
The new "physician-led integrated delivery system" will enter partnerships with large groups of primary-care physicians and specialists, provide business expertise and information systems, and negotiate managed-care contracts, participants said.
Western Pennsylvania's system includes Western Pennsylvania Hospital. Mercy Health is the parent of Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh.