- Associated Press - Friday, June 24, 2016

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - The West Virginia attorney general has approved the merger of two hospitals in Huntington.

Local news outlets report that West Virginia Health Care Authority announced Wednesday that it would grant Cabell Huntington Hospital a certificate of approval for its proposed acquisition of St. Mary’s Medical Center.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey concurred with the West Virginia Health Care Authority’s decision to approve the merger and signed off on the merger Wednesday.

The state legislature had passed a law earlier this year exempting the hospital merger from state and federal antitrust laws if the agency approved the merger.

Officials from Cabell Huntington and St. Mary’s applauded the agency’s decision.

“We sincerely believe that combining CHH and SMMC will create a single excellent hospital system that moves health care in our region to a new level,” said Kevin N. Fowler, president and chief executive officer at Cabell Huntington, in a statement.

President and CEO of St. Mary’s Michael Sellards said in a statement, “We remain convinced that this acquisition will improve the delivery of health care in our community and that it is in the best interest of patients and our employees and physicians.”

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