(AP) — Federal regulators say a Huntington hospital's planned takeover of another hospital would likely lead to higher costs to patients and lower quality of care.
The Federal Trade Commission announced a challenge Friday to Cabell Huntington Hospital Inc.'s proposed takeover of St. Mary's Medical Center in Huntington.
In November 2014, Cabell Huntington agreed to assume control of St. Mary's after the Pallottine Missionary Sisters ended their sponsorship of the hospital after 90 years.
St. Mary's has 393 beds and Cabell Huntington has 303 beds. They are the top two private employers in Cabell County. The combined operation would represent the second-largest hospital chain in the state behind Charleston Area Medical Center.
In July, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said St. Mary's would operate as a stand-alone facility after the takeover.