Harrisburg, Pa.-based PinnacleHealth System and Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center called off their plans to merge due to the cost and time associated with continuing litigation against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
After the two health systems announced their merger plans last June, the FTC and Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced their opposition to the planned integration, believing the merger would lead to increased healthcare costs and reduce quality of care for more than 500,00 local residents and patients.
PinnacleHealth released the following statement:
On September 27, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled in favor of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office (AG).
The Court overturned the May 9 decision by Judge John Jones, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, and in doing so granted the FTC and AG an injunction to prevent the integration of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and PinnacleHealth.
We are disappointed by the Court’s decision. We firmly believe the integration of our two health systems would have served the best interests of patients and the entire central Pennsylvania community. But given the time and cost associated with continuing litigation, PinnacleHealth and the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center have decided to bring our integration efforts to a close.
While we pursued plans for our integration, PinnacleHealth and the Hershey Medical Center enjoyed a positive and collaborative working relationship. Where circumstances allow and where it makes the most sense for our patients, we will continue to collaborate in the future.
We are deeply grateful for the enthusiasm shown by the many employers, community physicians, commercial insurance providers, community leaders and others who have recognized the benefits of our proposed integration and demonstrated their broad support for it.
Both organizations remain firmly committed to controlling healthcare costs, increasing access to needed services, and improving the quality and safety of healthcare in our region.