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Report: US hospital operators Ascension, Providence halt potential merger

Ascension and Providence St. Joseph Health halted their talks for a merger that could have created the largest operator of hospitals in the U.S., The Wall Street Journal reported citing sources.

The newspaper reported in December 2017 that the two U.S. nonprofit hospital operators had been discussing a deal for several months.

Both Ascension, the largest U.S. nonprofit hospital system, and Providence St. Joseph are focused on restructuring, which could be derailed by a combination, the Journal reported citing people familiar with the discussions.

While Renton, Wash.-based Providence is looking to improve its financials, St. Louis-based Ascension is launching a new strategic plan to boost growth and labor productivity, the newspaper said.

The hospital giants will not be coming back to the discussion table anytime soon, the news outlet added.

Hospital consolidation has come under scrutiny as U.S. lawmakers study whether such mergers could be driving up healthcare costs.