RGHS, Unity ask state to approve merger

By WILL ASTOR - 1/23/2014 4:54:56 PM

Rochester General Health System and Unity Health System have filed a certificate of need application asking the state Department of Health to approve their merger.

The application is filed in the name of  Rochester Unity System, or RU System, and states Newco as an alternate name for proposed conjoined system. But the monikers are working titles for submission purposes only. The systems plan to decide on final name before the health department’s Public Health and Health Planning Council rules on the matter, the application states.    

The merged systems would control Rochester General Hospital, Newark-Wayne Community Hospital and Unity Hospital. RGHS is in the process of adding Clifton Springs Hospital and Clinic and expects that merger to be completed before the council rules, the application states.

The application identifies four proposed RU System directors, naming two from each system’s board as initially manning the merged system’s board. It does not lay out an administrative hierarchy or specify the roles Unity CEO Warren Hern, RGHS CEO Mark Clement and other top officials might play.

 The proposed board appointees are:

Up to 21 additional RU System directors would be named, the application states.    

A wedding of RGHS and Unity has been in the works for several months. The systems previously had submitted a Hart-Scott-Rodino application seeking Federal Trade Commission approval and are hopeful of an FTC ruling this year that the merger would not violate federal anti-trust law, Hern said.

A Unity-RGHS merger would join the region’s third-largest private-sector employer, the more than 8,000-worker RGHS, with the area’s fifth-largest, the more than 5,000-employee Unity. It also would consolidate control of much of the region’s health care into a system second only to the University of Rochester Medical Center, which employs more than half of UR’s roughly 20,000 workers.    

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