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Ruling Blocks PinnacleHealth, Hershey Medical Center Merger

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Carolyn Kaster
/
AP

 

A federal appeals court has reversed an earlier ruling clearing the way for a proposed merger between PinnacleHealth System and Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted an injunction sought by the Federal Trade Commission and Pennsylvania attorney general's office.

Hershey and Pinnacle said in a joint statement Tuesday that they were disappointed and would carefully review the decision.

The agencies say the deal would consolidate control of nearly two-thirds of south-central Pennsylvania's health care market, which could mean higher costs and lower quality of care.

Penn State officials say they believe the merger will increase patient access to more kinds of medical services in a larger area. Merger discussions began in 2013 and both hospital networks have approved the deal.