Morton Plant Hospital Association, Clearwater, Fla., and Mease Health Care, Dunedin, Fla., merged after the deal was cleared by the Justice Department and Florida's attorney general. Antitrust regulators rejected the pair's first attempt to merge in 1993 and instead allowed limited consolidation under a separate not-for-profit subsidiary, Morton Plant Mease Health Care. The subsidiary is now the parent company for Morton Plant and Mease. Phil Beauchamp will continue as its president and chief executive officer and the governing board remains the same. Jim Pfeiffer, formerly president and CEO at Mease Health Care, was named executive vice president at the merged company.
Beauchamp said the Justice Department gave the systems an early termination of the antitrust waiting period May 19 and the state attorney general cleared the deal May 31. The systems' governing boards approved the merger Wednesday. Outpatient services will be among the first consolidated, Beauchamp said. Mease, which owns hospitals in Dunedin and Safety Harbor, Fla., earned net income of $22 million on revenue of $230 million in 2004. Morton Plant, which owns hospitals in Clearwater and New Port Richey, Fla., earned net income of $30 million on revenue of $485 million in the same year, according to unaudited financials. -- by Melanie Evans