A proposed merger between Baylor Scott & White Health, with locations in Waco, and Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System has been scrapped, according to a press release co-signed by the parties.
Reasons for discontinuing talks were not discussed, and Baylor Scott & White spokeswoman Julie Smith said in a phone interview the statement would stand alone for now. She said she could provide no additional information.
Asked if negotiations possibly could resume at a later date, she said, “I think that would be the hope, but we have no timetable.”
“After months of thoughtful exploration, we have decided to discontinue talks of a merger between our two systems,” the press release states. “Ultimately we have concluded that as strong, successful organizations, we are capable of achieving our visions for the future without merging at this time. We have a tremendous amount of respect for each other and remain committed to strengthening our communities, advancing the health of Texans and transforming the delivery of care. We will continue to seek opportunities for collaboration as two forward-thinking, mission-driven organizations.”
The companies announced merger plans in October with a goal of improved patient care and more cost-effective services. The two systems have about 73,000 employees in more than 30 Texas counties with 68 hospital campuses. The combined operation likely would have had executive and support staffers based in Austin, Dallas, Houston and Temple, according to the Associated Press.
The office of Glenn Robinson, president of Baylor Scott & White’s Waco operations, said Robinson was in a meeting Tuesday afternoon and unavailable for comment on the impact shutting down the merger would have locally.
After the announcement of merger plans last year, the Houston Chronicle ran several articles on its ramifications. Sources quoted were divided on the impact it would have on health-care costs to individuals and to insurance providers, and on whether the deal, valued at $14 billion, would prove more beneficial to Memorial Hermann or Baylor Scott & White.