Fairviewmerger delayed

Joel Sawyer

Despite a planned Oct. 1 deadline for signing the paperwork finalizing the merger between University Hospital and Fairview Health System, administrators have pushed back the date.
Officials from both institutions cite an unexpectedly large amount of work as the reason for the change.
“Due to the sheer volume of materials and documentation needed to prepare definitive agreements, the documents will not be ready for signature by October 1,” said Jo Anne Jackson, senior vice president of finance and operations, in a written statement.
The merger documents will set up the operational framework for the proposed Fairview-University Medical Center and finalize the terms of the sale of University Hospital to Fairview.
Jackson said no definite date has been set for the final signings, but Fairview spokeswoman Jean Tracy said she expects the agreement will be completed by the end of October.
The Board of Regents gave University administrators authority in August to finalize an agreement with Fairview officials that will transfer University Hospital and its assets to Fairview for $87.5 million.
The delay comes in the wake of a letter sent by representatives of more than 1,000 unionized hospital workers to the state attorney general last week asking for a postponement of the merger.
The letter, which was sent by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 6, requested that the merger be delayed until antitrust and other legal issues surrounding the agreement can be investigated.
Tracy said the delay had nothing to do with the union letter.
Tom Beer, legislative director of AFSCME, Council 6, said he was surprised by the signing delay. “I don’t know what to make of it,” he said. “It could well be that not all the Is are dotted and the Ts are crossed.”
Beer said AFSCME has not received a response from the attorney general or administrators from the University or Fairview regarding the union letter and is not sure whether it has anything to do with the delay.