The University of Pennsylvania Health System said that Vanguard Health Systems, Nashville, has dropped out of a joint bid to acquire 212-bed Chestnut Hill HealthCare, Philadelphia, but likely will be replaced by another investor-owned chain, Community Health Systems, Brentwood, Tenn. Chestnut Hill's board has authorized its executives to negotiate a letter of intent with Community and the Penn system. Community is still early in its exploration of the deal, but the company considers Chestnut Hill a good opportunity, Community spokeswoman Rosemary Walsh said. Of the 72 hospitals that Community owns or operates, seven are in Pennsylvania -- including one purchased earlier this year from the Penn system -- and Community's hospital in Salem, N.J., is just across the state line, Walsh said. Earlier this week, Vanguard announced that it would acquire three Massachusetts hospitals from Tenet Healthcare Corp. for $100.3 million. At deadline, Vanguard officials could not be reached for comment. -- by Vince Galloro
Penn. system expects new partner in hospital deal
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