Despite block of a proposed merger, Pinnacle CEO confident about future
Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | 12.19.16
Photo by Ben Allen/WITF
Michael Young, CEO of PinnacleHealth, talks in an interview in his Harrisburg office on December 19th, 2016.
(Harrisburg) -- Months after a federal appeals court blocked a proposed merger between two of the largest health systems in the midstate, PinnacleHealth says it's confident about its future.
In his first public comments since the ruling came down, PinnacleHealth CEO Michael Young calls the decision to halt the merger of his organization and Penn State Health a shame.
The federal appeals court ruled it would lead to a monopoly and raise prices for consumers.
Young says the court's decision was a shame for consumers, and is adament a merger could have reduced costs, despite many studies to the contrary.
He says the ruling won't stop him from looking at other mergers.
"Well now that we know the narrow scope of their definition, one of the things that we will evaluate is are we outside their scope so they'll allow it happen," he says.
But, he says the Harrisburg-based health system is well-positioned for the future.
As for what's next, Pinnacle Chief Financial Officer Bill Pugh says its in no rush.
"That's a funny thing. In this environment it seems like there are inquiries, there are expressions of interest, and everybody's talking to everybody. It is a very dynamic market," says Pugh.
"I think we're still the one to beat," he adds.
Young says other potential partners for Pinnacle would have to be committed to keeping costs in line.
"Partnering for the sake of partnering is not what the Penn State Hershey - Pinnacle relationship was about, so any future relationship will be 'It's gotta be built on the patient first.'", adds Young.
Pugh says since the decision, Pinnacle has sat back and taken stock of its competition - believing it's tops in the region.
He says Pinnacle is listening to inquiries, but has no immediate plans for changes.
Published in Healthcare Transformation