CHS, Cleveland Clinic no longer in line to buy Ohio system

The leaders of a large Ohio hospital system have pulled out of talks to sell to Community Health Systems and the Cleveland Clinic and are seeking other buyers, reports Crain's Cleveland Business. The strategic partnership between Franklin-based CHS and the Cleveland Clinic had yielded a preliminary deal to buy Akron General Health System last August. But Crain's reports that Akron General CEO Dr. Thomas Stover said talks have ended due to disagreements between CHS and the Cleveland Clinic.

"In an e-mailed statement, Community Health Systems spokeswoman Tomi Galin said her company and the Clinic haven’t agreed how the joint venture would be structured. Subsequently, Akron General notified Community Health System it would explore other opportunities."

Stover tells Crain's Akron General plans to open talks with other possible buyers but isn't saying who they might be. The Akron deal would have been the first major acquisition between CHS and the Cleveland Clinic since the two launched a partnership last March as a consulting arrangement to share clinical and operational data.

The alliance did not involve any equity, but CHS president and CEO Wayne Smith said in May the two organizations had been contacted by several hospital leaders looking to sell.