More than a year after they signed a "final" merger agreement, the full-asset merger of three New York healthcare systems still isn't. But an end to the protracted waiting may be in sight.
Margaret Davino, vice president and general counsel of 580-bed Saint Vincents Hospital and Medical Center, said the merger is expected to close within the next 60 days.
Saint Vincents' partners in the proposed merger are four-hospital Catholic Medical Centers and two-hospital Sisters of Charity Healthcare System. In addition to its main campus in Manhattan, Saint Vincents also includes a psychiatric hospital in Westchester County, N.Y.
The deal, which already has received federal antitrust clearance, is awaiting other final regulatory clearances, including from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which secures about $350 million in outstanding bonds collectively for the combining systems.
The proposed merger would create the new Saint Vincents Catholic Medical Centers of New York. Headquartered in Manhattan, it would operate seven acute-care hospitals and one psychiatric hospital with a total of 2,600 beds and annual revenue of about $1.5 billion.
After merger talks derailed last year, the three signed a final merger agreement in July 1999 (July 5, 1999, p. 16).
The new system is coming together at a time when others are coming undone after discovering that bigger isn't necessarily better (July 10, p. 2).
But that trend doesn't mean every system will unwind, said Stephen Monroe, a partner at Irving Levin Associates, a New Canaan, Conn.-based firm that tracks healthcare transactions.
"Most of the (deals) announced are still going through," Monroe said.
After HUD, in concert with HHS, signs off on the deal, it goes to the New York attorney general for clearance, Davino said. The systems have been working with the attorney general's office and don't anticipate problems. The attorney general's final review relates to the use of charitable gifts and restricted funds, said a spokeswoman for the new system.
After the attorney general, the deal needs a sign-off from a New York state Supreme Court justice.