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Ascension, Providence put merger on ice

Outside the Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Washington.
A Providence Health hospital in Washington state. Photo: Francis Dean / Corbis via Getty Images

Ascension and Providence St. Joseph Health have suspended talks about merging into one giant hospital system, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Catholic-based not-for-profits initially talked about combining last year.

Why it matters: Ascension and Providence would have created the largest not-for-profit hospital system in the country, with almost 200 hospitals. But the organizations are restructuring to focus less on hospitalizations and more on outpatient care, per the WSJ. However, there are still many other hospital and health care deals occurring across the country.