St. Vincent, Mercy Health Hot Springs Could Find Common Covenant

Update: Mercy confirms that it is in talks with St. Vincent.

Original post:

Have you heard that St. Vincent Health System of Little Rock has made a formal bid to acquire Mercy Health Hot Springs?

We don’t have many details to report at this time, though.

“We don’t have any information to share,” said Barb Meyer, a spokeswoman for Mercy in Chesterfield, Mo. “We don’t have any definitive plans at this point.”

She wouldn’t confirm that St. Vincent has made an offer.

St. Vincent President and CEO Peter Banko also declined to comment.

Both Mercy Health and St. Vincent, you’ll recall, had deals pending with other hospitals that fell apart in recent months.

Mercy had been in talks to sell its Hot Springs hospital to Capella Healthcare of Franklin, Tenn., which operates National Park Medical Center across town.

That plan collapsed when the Federal Trade Commission said it didn’t support the merger.

Also St. Vincent wanted to partner with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, but an agreement couldn’t be worked out.

A St. Vincent-Mercy combination lacks one of the complications that dogged the failed deals: both are Catholic-owned.

Stay tuned.