Franciscan CEO says merger with Methodist Hospitals has ‘definite hurdles’ - May 18, 2017

Courtesy of Becker’s Hospital Review • May 18, 2017

By Kelly Gooch

Patrick Maloney, president and CEO of three Franciscan Health hospitals, said a proposed merger between Gary, Ind.-based Methodist Hospitals and Mishawaka, Ind.-based Franciscan is not finalized, and numerous issues are still under consideration, reports The Times of Northwest Indiana.

Methodist Hospitals signed a nonbinding letter of intent to merge with Franciscan nearly two months ago. But on Wednesday, Mr. Maloney, who leads Franciscan Health Dyer (Ind.), Franciscan Health Hammond (Ind.) and Franciscan Health Munster (Ind.), gave no indication the deal was finalized.

“The analogy I joked about is we agreed to date and let’s see if we want to take it to the next level,” he said, according to the report.

The Federal Trade Commission is one potential obstacle to the deal, as the commission may oppose mergers that are likely to decrease regional competition at the expense of patients, the report states. Additionally, the report cites an old consent decree Methodist entered into decades ago with the U.S. Office of Civil Rights. When Methodist entered into the consent decree, the organization said it would offer equal services in Gary and Merrillville, reports The Times of Northwest Indiana.

Mr. Maloney said an offer from Franciscan could satisfy the decree by proposing the construction of a new hospital in Gary, according to the report.

“Hopefully we can see where it goes, but I think we have some definite hurdles to overcome,” he said of the proposed merger.