- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - St. Vincent Health System is absorbing a Mercy Health hospital and physicians clinic in Hot Springs.

The deal announced Tuesday will have the Hot Springs properties operate as part of a regional network and will carry the name St. Vincent Hot Springs.

St. Vincent said in a news release that the transaction came about because of the state’s challenging health care climate and as a way to increase access to people who need health care.

St. Vincent Health System is an affiliate of Englewood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Initiatives.

Mercy has a 282-bed hospital in Hot Springs that includes an emergency department with a Level 2 trauma center. It also has a clinic organization with 90 physicians.

St. Vincent has a 615-bed hospital in Little Rock and various other facilities.