Bon Secours-Holy Family Regional Health System, Altoona, Pa., has agreed to negotiate a link with Conemaugh Health System, Johnstown, Pa. They expect to complete a letter of intent to affiliate within 30 days and close a deal within six months.
The exact nature of the arrangement hasn't been disclosed. However, it would not be a merger, because Bon Secours Health System, Marriottsville, Md., has committed to maintain majority, if not complete, ownership in the 169-bed hospital in Altoona.
The agreement ends a duel between Conemaugh and Altoona Hospital for a link with Bon Secours-Holy Family.
Last summer both providers approached the corporate office of Bon Secours with bids for deals with Bon Secours-Holy Family, said David McConnell, interim chief executive officer at the hospital. Altoona sought a merger and Conemaugh an affiliation, he said.
After Bon Secours' corporate office evaluated the offers, the local board formed an ad hoc board committee in January, which recommended Bon Secours-Holy Family pursue negotiations with Conemaugh. The board gave Conemaugh the nod in late March.