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LifeBridge Health and Union Hospital of Cecil County end takeover talks

Union Hospital of Cecil County will not join LifeBridge Health, which operates Sinai Hospital and several other medical facilities in the region, LifeBridge and Union jointly announced Wednesday.

Union signed a letter of intent nearly a year ago to become part of the LifeBridge system as it sought more resources to serve its patients. The pair said those discussions have ended but they will continue to explore opportunities to partner on efforts to improve patient access and control costs.

“The organizations have been working closely through the due diligence process after Union Hospital of Cecil County signed a letter of intent in January to join LifeBridge Health,” the statement said. “However, given the current healthcare issues facing hospitals and systems in Maryland, leaders at both organizations feel that it is best to continue as separate entities.”

Maryland operates under a unique agreement with federal regulators that dictates billing and cost controls.

Many independent community hospitals such as Cecil have merged with larger systems in recent years, looking for operational efficiencies, and access to more resources including doctors and help with the regulatory landscape.

Union’s leadership had cited Carroll Hospitals, taken over by LifeBridge several years ago, as a model that would allow the hospital to keep its board and executive team and continue to operate mostly independently.

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