Sanford Well being has indefinitely suspended talks with Intermountain Healthcare about their deliberate merger.
The choice to halt merger talks comes about two weeks after Sanford Well being and President and CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft mutually agreed to part ways. Krabbenhoft led the 46-hospital system for twenty-four years, assuming the highest place in 1996. A press launch famous his contributions to the Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based group’s development from a group hospital into a big rural nonprofit spanning 26 states.
Sanford Well being didn’t give an official purpose for Krabbenhoft’s sudden departure, however days earlier than the announcement, CNN obtained an email despatched by the previous CEO to well being system workers telling them that he had contracted Covid-19 and recovered. He additionally stated he wouldn’t be sporting a masks.
Krabbenhoft stated there was “rising proof” of immunity to the brand new coronavirus and that sporting a masks “sends an untruthful message that I’m prone to an infection or may transmit it. I’ve little interest in utilizing masks as a symbolic gesture,” CNN reported. However proof relating to immunity after restoration from Covid-19 continues to be restricted and a few reinfections have been reported.
Invoice Gassen, beforehand serving as chief administrative officer, succeeded Krabbenhoft because the group’s new chief.
The well being system determined to cease merger exercise to deal with different organizational wants as Gassen takes over, in keeping with a press launch.
“With this management change, it’s an vital time to refocus our efforts internally as we assess the long run path of our group,” Gassen stated within the press launch. “We proceed to prioritize caring for our sufferers, our folks, and the communities we function we glance to form our path ahead.”
Sanford and Intermountain declined to touch upon whether or not the organizations are planning to renew talks sooner or later.
“We’re disillusioned however perceive the latest management change at Sanford Well being has influenced their priorities,” stated Dr. Marc Harrison, president and CEO of Salt Lake Metropolis-based Intermountain Healthcare, within the press launch. “There’s a lot to admire in regards to the work that Sanford Well being is doing. We proceed to share a robust imaginative and prescient for the way forward for healthcare.”
Had the talks continued and the merger been authorized, the combined organization would have included 70 hospitals, 435 clinics and 233 senior care places. It was anticipated to generate about $15 billion in complete annual income.
Intermountain’s Harrison was slated to function the mixed system’s chief, whereas Krabbenhoft was to function president emeritus.
Photograph credit score: Kuzma, Getty Photographs