Two proposed mergers got a green light from their state attorneys general with oversight of the matter.
Two systems combine in N.D.; new one forms in R.I.
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem approved a merger proposed by MeritCare Health System, Fargo, N.D., and Sanford Health, Sioux Falls, S.D., while Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch approved the merger of two Providence-area hospitals to form CharterCare Health Partners.
In North Dakota, MeritCare spokesman Darren Huber said each system’s board was expected to meet to vote on the merger ahead of a news conference planned for Nov. 2.
Stenehjem, who reviewed the deal under his office’s authority to protect charitable assets, wrote in a four-page letter to MeritCare that he “was unable to conclude that the transaction is not” in MeritCare’s best interests.
With the help of outside accounting firm Brady, Martz & Associates, his office reviewed financial statements from both MeritCare and Sanford Health, observing that MeritCare recorded “significant operating losses in 2008” with improvement in 2009. A Deloitte study the systems commissioned that identified opportunities for increased revenue and cost reduction from the merger was deemed by the attorney general to be “objective and unbiased.”
MeritCare owns 414-bed MeritCare Medical Center in Fargo and manages four hospitals in North Dakota and Minnesota. Sanford Health owns or leases 14 hospitals and manages another nine hospitals.
In Rhode Island, the merger of 169-bed Roger Williams Medical Center, Providence, and 271-bed St. Joseph Health Services, North Providence, would create a system that will have about $330 million in annual revenue, the attorney general’s office said. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
The two hospitals announced their plan to merge in November 2007; in a news release, the partners said that they expect to be operating as an integrated system by January.
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