Mercy Health confirms talks with St. Vincent’s

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — Mercy Health of Hot Springs says it is in talks with Catholic Health Initiatives about a possible merger with a Little Rock hospital, three months after a different acquisition proposal fell through.

The Sentinel-Record newspaper reported Wednesday (http://bit.ly/18pFPOB ) that the hospital in Hot Springs was in discussions with the parent company of Little Rock’s St. Vincent Infirmary “toward a letter of intent.”

In June, Capella Healthcare dropped its plans to acquire the Mercy Health System in Hot Springs. Capella is the parent company of National Park Medical Center, also in Hot Springs.

Mercy Health on Tuesday announced the possibility of merging with the St. Vincent Health System just hours after the National Park Medical Center announced an expansion plan with estimated costs of $40 million to $45 million.

Mercy spokeswoman Barb Meyer said discussions center around transfering Mercy Hospital Hot Springs and its physician clinic system to Catholic Health Initiatives, a year after Capella Healthcare, a for-profit health care system headquartered in Franklin, Tenn., tried to acquire Mercy for $167.5 million.

Separately, St. Vincent entered discussions with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to share part of their operations. Those plans fell apart, too.

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Information from: The Sentinel-Record, http://www.hotsr.com

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