Calif. healthcare providers call off merger amid rising scrutiny
Santa Barbara, Calif.-based healthcare providers Cottage Health and Sansum Clinic called off their proposed merger after fighting regulatory concerns for years, signaling regulators’ increasingly critical stance on vertical integrations.
The not-for-profit healthcare providers announced their plans to merge in 2013, aiming to combine Cottage Health’s three-hospital system with Sansum’s 23 ambulatory clinics and the only medical foundation in the region.
Cottage Health, which operates the only hospitals in south Santa Barbara County and the Santa Ynez Valley, sold off an ambulatory surgery center to alleviate the Federal Trade Commission’s concerns over the deal. But it was evidently not enough.
Cottage Health CEO Ron Werft and Sansum Clinic CEO and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kurt Ransohoff said in a statement that they would continue to collaborate.