Hot Springs hospitals sign merger agreement

HOT SPRINGS (AP) - Two Hot Springs hospitals have signed a merger agreement that would put them both under Capella Healthcare.

Capella is the parent company of National Park Medical Center in Hot Springs. The company announced Wednesday that it will merge with Mercy Hospital and Mercy Clinic in Hot Springs, entities formally known as St. Joseph's Mercy Health System.

Terms were not disclosed. A news release says it will take 60 to 90 days to pursue regulatory approval. Mercy is affiliated with the Catholic Church and the deal will also need Vatican approval.

The hospitals announced in April they were exploring a merger. The sides are taking the next step since due diligence is complete.

Capella is based in Franklin, Tenn., and owns 15 acute care and specialty hospital facilities in seven states.

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