Completion of Merced Hospital Merger Set for March 31
Pending state Attorney General Bill Lockyer's (D) approval, the proposed merger of Sutter Merced Medical Center and Catholic Healthcare West's Mercy Hospital will be complete by a March 31 "target date," according to Mercy Hospital CEO John Headding, the Modesto Bee reports. Headding said, "We're confident we'll be able to meet the deadline," adding, "We've just completed [the hospital relicensing] paperwork process, and we're working with the Department of Health Services closely." The merger already has been approved by the Merced County Board of Supervisors, and Mercy officials last week completed a "proposed organizational structure" for the merged facility. Under the takeover plan, Mercy will operate both hospitals until it completes construction of a new medical center, expected to open in 2007. In addition, Mercy will provide care for the county's low-income residents. Since taking over the county-owned medical center in 1997, Sutter has claimed losses of $10 million (Mello, Modesto Bee, 2/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.