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WellSpan, Pinnacle call off merger

A merger was called off between Harrisburg-based
PinnacleHealth System and York Township-based WellSpan Health, the
organizations said today.

A merger was called off between Harrisburg-based
PinnacleHealth System and York Township-based WellSpan Health, the
organizations said today.

“Our board is the one who initiated the discussion of
stepping away,” said Lisa Henry, marketing manager at Pinnacle. “We felt like
we needed to look at our own (organization) first, before doing anything
further in pursuing opportunities. (The board) really wants the engagement of
our physicians and of management in that process of defining our future a
little more clearly.”

Discussions about the deal have been occurring since last
spring. In October, the groups released details about what a combined health
system might look like.

“The valuation of any transaction as complex as a merger
must be done carefully, must be done thoroughly, must be done with feedback
from a variety of stakeholders, and those things take time,” said Rick Ayers,
director of public relations and communications for WellSpan. “We’ve been
pretty clear we wanted to take our time and evaluate this as carefully as
possible.”

Pinnacle and WellSpan have agreed they will “continue to investigate
specific joint initiatives to enhance the provision of health services in the
region they serve,” according to a joint statement.

“It’s like parting as friends and saying ‘This was a good
discussion, it was good to challenge ourselves. But right now, we’re going to
step away,'” Henry said.

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