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.
Nurses employed by Community Health Systems' Northside Medical Center in Ohio and belonging to the Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association have voted to give their union leaders the authority to call another work stoppage. The nurses, who have been in contract talks with CHS executives for months, organized a one-day stoppage last week. No second strike is in the offing yet.
Contract talks between Community Health Systems and an Ohio nurses union made some progress last week, but it wasn't enough to avoid a breakdown in negotiations over a new agreement for nurses at the company's Northside Medical Center in Youngstown. As a result, the workers have scheduled a one-day strike for this coming Tuesday.
Representatives of the Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association and the Ohio Nurses Association say they want to get back to the negotiating table as soon as possible, but a federal mediator hasn't called for the sides to reconvene. A CHS spokeswoman said the company is prepared to maintain its services should the strike occur and is sticking to its negotiating points.
"Northside Medical Center, part of ValleyCare Health System, stands by the final offer it has made in collective bargaining with the Ohio Nurses Association," Tomi Galin wrote in an email statement. "The terms of that offer essentially mirror the terms of agreements overwhelmingly ratified by all of the other represented employees at ValleyCare, including nurses. Nurses at Northside are trusted partners in care. Like nurses in every hospital, they haves many avenues to provide input, raise concerns and participate in decisions that advance quality care for patients. Nothing in the hospital's offer would change that."
SEE ALSO: CHS, nurses at impasse over Ohio hospital contract from last month