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April 4, 2013
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Mercy Medical Center parent ends merger talks with PeaceHealth

The Colorado-based parent of Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg has suspended talks to merge with Northwest-based PeaceHealth.

Catholic Health Initiatives announced last summer it planned to merge with the other Catholic health care organization to form a partnership with a network of 16 hospitals in Oregon, Washington and Alaska.

The two groups announced the end of merger discussions Wednesday. A statement issued by CHI didn’t specify why the merger fell through.

“The structure as it was initially proposed is pretty much over and done at this point,” CHI spokesman Michael Romano said today. “We are open to new relationships with PeaceHealth. It’s possible we will revisit this. We continue our dialogue, but the focus at this time is not on putting together a new organization as originally proposed.”

The executive director of a Washington state group concerned with end-of-life issues said today he suspects CHI and the Vancouver, Wash.-based PeaceHealth had cultural differences that could affect how the organizations view health care issues such as contraception and sterilization.

“We are more progressive than other parts of the United States,” said Robb Miller, executive director of Compassion and Choices of Washington. “I know (the organizations) said nothing would change, but the fact is things do change and even if they don’t change right away, they do evolve over time.”

Romano said CHI and PeaceHealth were in “agreement on the ethical and religious directives for health care services.”

CHI, based in Englewood, Colo., operates 78 hospitals and 40 long-term care facilities in 17 states.

Peace Health operates nine medical centers, including Cottage Grove Community Hospital and Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield, and a three-state medical group in Alaska, Washington and Oregon.

CHI is the nation’s second-largest health care system, with annual revenues of more than $10.7 billion and approximately 83,000 employees. PeaceHealth has annual revenues of $2.3 billion.

CHI and PeaceHealth said last summer the companies expected the partnership, which would allow the organizations to be more efficient, to be completed by June 2013.

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The News-Review Updated Apr 10, 2014 09:47AM Published Apr 5, 2013 08:24AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.