Voters rejected by a 3-to-1 margin Tenet Healthcare Corp.'s $130 million bid to purchase 182-bed Slidell (La.) Memorial Hospital, according to the Louisiana secretary of state's office. Just a few days before the Saturday vote, the Federal Trade Commission said in a letter that the sale, which would make Tenet the owner of Slidell's only two hospitals, would likely result in higher healthcare prices. The FTC's opinion was requested by Louisiana Attorney General Richard Ieyoub, who, along with district voters, must approve a sale of the public hospital. Tenet spokesman Steven Campanini said the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company is disappointed in the result and surprised by the margin. Tenet officials are scheduled to meet this week with the board of St. Tammany Hospital Service District No. 2, which owns Slidell Memorial. Tenet has not made a decision regarding its continuing interest in the hospital, Campanini said. Saturday's unofficial totals were 3,508-to-11,794, with 77% against the sale. Voters last summer rejected a tax-supported bond issue to support capital improvements at the hospital. Management has said the hospital needs at least $35 million in capital improvements. -- by Vince Galloro
Tenet's bid for La. hospital nixed by voters
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