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Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare & Saint Francis Hospitals merger is off

According to statements from both hospital systems, they said together they have decided they will no longer pursue the sale.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and Saint Francis Hospitals will no longer merge in the Mid-South.

According to statements from both hospital systems, they said together they have decided they will no longer pursue the sale.

You can read the full statements below:

Michael Ugwueke, CEO, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare:

“Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and Tenet have made the decision to continue to operate MLH and Saint Francis hospitals as separate health entities. 

With the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent decision to ask a court to block the sale of the transaction, we would prefer to focus on continuing our commitment to provide compassionate and high quality care to patients rather than costly and protracted litigation that would have lasted at least 18 months and distracted from our core mission. 

We continue to believe that the proposed acquisition of Saint Francis hospitals and its associated properties would improve healthcare delivery for residents of Memphis, Bartlett and the surrounding communities, including enhancing access to care, cutting-edge medical technology and the highest quality physicians and staff. 

We appreciate the broad support of the proposed transaction from the community, including from leading local health plans, physicians, employers and community leaders who believed that the two organizations together would have had an even greater impact on the care delivered to the communities we are privileged to serve.” 

Sally Hurt-Deitch, CEO, Saint Francis Healthcare:

“We have determined that the best course for both organizations is to continue serving our communities independently. While we will no longer bring our hospitals together with Methodist Le Bonheur, we continue as neighbors, both contributing to a positive community impact. This decision maintains our ability to provide excellent care to our patients, and doesn’t change – or compromise in any way – our longstanding promise to enhance access to care, cutting-edge medical technology and the highest quality physicians and staff. Looking ahead, we remain focused on serving the areas of greatest need as anchors of compassionate care in our communities.” 

Daniel Francis, Deputy Director of the FTC Bureau of Competition, made this statement:

“This is great news for patients in the Memphis area. The FTC voted unanimously to challenge this hospital transaction because it would have eliminated competition between two of only four hospital providers and left patients worse off as a result. That outcome has been avoided. I’m grateful not only to the Bureau’s staff—whose work for consumers across the country has continued at a record pace despite the COVID-19 pandemic—but also to our partners in the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office, who joined our litigation and worked closely with us to secure this result."

On Nov. 13, 2020, the Commission voted 5-0 to file an administrative complaint and authorize staff to seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in federal court that would stop the proposed acquisition.

The FTC charged that the acquisition would cause healthcare costs to rise and would diminish the parties’ incentives to expand service offerings, invest in technology, improve access to care, and focus on quality of healthcare in the Memphis area.