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VOL. 41 | NO. 37 | Friday, September 15, 2017

Tennessee approves merger of hospital systems

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NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Department of Health has approved a proposed merger between two hospital systems.

News outlets report that the department announced Tuesday that Commissioner John Dreyzehner approved Kingsport-based Wellmont Health System and Johnson City-based Mountain States Health Alliance's application for a Certificate of Public Advantage to oversee the merger.

The Federal Trade Commission opposes the merger, saying its benefits don't outweigh harm to consumers. The TDH says it worked with the health care systems and state attorney general's office to outline benchmarks linked to improving key health outcomes in northeast Tennessee.

The systems await approval from Virginia, to regulate the southwest Virginia portion of the merger.

The systems have 90 days to complete the merger, which would create Ballad Health, led by Mountain States CEO Alan Levine.

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