Reopened Tenet, Connecticut negotiations fail

Tenet Healthcare Corp. and the state of Connecticut have formally abandoned efforts to sell five struggling nonprofit Constitution State hospitals to the Texas-based chain, the Hartford Courant reports.

The deal began to fall apart in late 2014 after Tenet said terms dictated by Connecticut's Office of Health Care Access for Waterbury Hospital on prices, staffing and services provided were overly restrictive. Despite Tenet's pullout, the state was able to reopen negotiations, but Tenet and state officials were unable to reconcile their differences, according to the article.

"We believe it is best for the hospitals, their employees and the communities they serve to move forward exploring other options," Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy and Tenet said in a joint statement to reporters. Malloy's office did not provide any further details as to why negotiations fell through.

"While Tenet is disappointed with the outcome, we wish the hospitals, local community leaders and Governor Malloy the very best in their effort to build a sustainable future for these and other hospitals in the State of Connecticut," Tenet CEO Trevor Fetter said in the joint statement.

Reactions were mixed among the leaders of the hospitals involved in the aborted sale. Peter J. Karl, president and CEO of Eastern Connecticut Health Network, said hospital trustees would continue to explore opportunities for affiliation to expand services and stabilize hospital finances. Meanwhile, Bristol Hospital and Health Care Group President and CEO Kurt A. Barwis touted the organization's recent growth in bariatrics, wound care, orthopedics and breast health, and said Bristol plans to further collaborate with its clinical partner, Yale New Haven Health System.

Despite the failure of the Tenet detail, healthcare's unprecedented shift towards consolidation is likely to continue in 2015 as struggling providers seek to join larger, more successful systems, FierceHealthFinance previously reported.

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