SUMMIT-ALTA BATES MERGER: Postponed for at Least 10 Days
In an attempt to reach a deal with state Attorney General Bill Lockyer over an "imminent" antitrust suit by the state, Summit and Alta Bates hospitals have postponed their planned merger "for at least 10 days," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The deal was expected to be finalized by tomorrow, and Lockyer was prepared to ask a federal judge to block the deal, citing concerns about "the effect a merger would have on competition and consumers' access to affordable health care." Sutter spokesperson Bill Gleeson said, "We're not surprised the attorney general has some additional questions. We're hopeful any outstanding issues or questions can be resolved." But SEIU Local 250 President Sal Rosselli, who has been an outspoken critic of the merger, said, "It's hard to imagine what the hospitals could say in the next 10 days that would change" the outcome. As the deal has been given the green light by the FTC, the Chronicle reports that the "question becomes what, if anything, the hospitals and the state can do to allay Lockyer's" concerns. A spokesperson for Lockyer declined to elaborate on any concessions the hospitals could make (Abate/DeFao, 7/29).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.