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Pennsylvania's Reading Health System Terminates Proposed Acquisition of Surgical Institute of Reading

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Reading (Pa.) Health System has decided to terminate its attempt to acquire the Surgical Institute of Reading, according to a BCTV report.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly announced on Nov. 14 that, in conjunction with the FTC, the Commonwealth will challenge the proposed merger. Ms. Kelly said the sale of SIR to RHS would be bad for consumers because it would reduce competition among facilities.

Clint Matthews, the system's president and CEO, said in a statement, "We reach this conclusion with regret, because we believe the merger of these two strong, high-quality healthcare institutions clearly would have benefited the community."

SIR is physician-owned and opened its doors in 2007. It specializes in certain procedures, mostly orthopedic, spine, ENT and general surgeries. Ms. Kelly said SIR has consistently charged 30 to 40 percent less than Reading Hospital for many medical procedures, and the merger could potentially raise healthcare costs and add to RHS' already considerable negotiating leverage.

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