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Beacon and The South Bend Clinic Suspend Merger

logo-beacon-hsAdvancing Health Continues as Top Priority

Since July of 2013, Beacon Health System and The South Bend Clinic have provided information to regulatory agencies as part of required regulatory approvals for a proposed merger. It has become evident that dramatic changes in health care, along with a challenging regulatory environment, would extend the review for at least another 12 to 18 months and with no assurance of regulatory approval.

Together, Beacon and The South Bend Clinic have determined that this unplanned extension would be too large a burden of cost, time and uncertainty for both organizations. Because of this, the parties have both decided to suspend further merger efforts.

“Beacon Health System and The South Bend Clinic care for thousands of people on a daily basis. We enjoyed a very close relationship long before this process began and will continue to do so,” says Phil Newbold, CEO of Beacon Health System. “This is not a step back, but rather an opportunity to innovate and lead the discussion on health care reform, and develop new problem-solving initiatives that will influence improved care for years to come.”

Most recently, Beacon Health System’s Memorial Regional Cancer Center and The South Bend Clinic have collaborated together on a comprehensive cancer treatment center on Day Road. The treatment center provides easy access for patients who are surrounded by a team of physicians and treatment specialists who are focused on their individual care.

“Physicians who practice in this community are aligned, clinically talented and quite dedicated to delivering excellence in care. Our community is in a good position to design and influence the future of care,” says Vince Henderson, M.D., Chairman of the Physician’s Governance Council for Beacon Medical Group.


Q: Who made the decision to suspend the merger discussions?

A: In an announcement made on April 16, The South Bend Clinic and Beacon Health System decided to suspend further merger efforts. The decision was in part due to a significant extension of the review period, which would be costly for both organizations.

Q: What did the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) say about the deal?

A: With dramatic changes having occurred in health care since the origination of the discussions, the proposed structure would likely not have gone forward in the current regulatory environment.

Q: What kind of dramatic changes?

A: Major shifts are occurring in how care is accessed, paid for, tracked and monitored. While those shifts are designed to serve patients well over time, a great number of changes occurring at once make the future environment difficult to predict.

Q: Are there immediate plans to put together another agreement?

A: Beacon Health System and The South Bend Clinic enjoy a unique role in our community as health care providers to thousands of people each day. We will continue to enjoy a close working relationship to provide efficient, coordinated care to ensure the best outcomes for patients.

Q: What does The South Bend Clinic say about this?

A: In a press statement, Dr. Jesse Hsieh, President of The South Bend Clinic’s Board of Trustees said,  “Physicians throughout Beacon and The South Bend Clinic have the utmost respect for one another. The longstanding relationships among physicians in our community is crucial as health care reform encourages more regular coordination amongst all parts of our regional health care delivery system.”

Q: How will this impact patient care?

A: Physicians and health professionals from both organizations will continue to work closely on a daily basis to care for the medical and health needs of the community.

Q: Is this a disappointment?

A: If anything, the merger discussions have solidified the close and cooperative relationship between Beacon Health System and The South Bend Clinic. We have opportunity to innovate new ways to lead the discussion on health care reform, and develop new problem-solving initiatives that will lead to improved care for years to come. Overall, the experience has left us optimistic about continuing a close working relationship in the future.

Q: What next?

A: Beacon intends to direct efforts on focused opportunities to collaborate such as cancer care, population health, and chronic disease management that deliver value to their patients, the community, and the organizations.

About Heidi Prescott

Passionate about writing her whole life, Heidi Prescott joined Beacon Health System in 2015 and currently serves as Senior Media Relations Strategist. A former newspaper journalist who has experience in TV, radio, magazines and social media, Heidi loves storytelling, photography and spending time in nature.