COLUMBIA, Mo. - Either University of Missouri Health Care or SSM Health can end negotiations over two hospitals if there's not a deal in place by Sept. 30, according to the letter of intent each side signed.
ABC 17 News obtained the letter through an open records request on Wednesday. The letter details the rules that govern negotiations between the two health care companies, which leaders say will last several months.
ABC 17 News broke the story that MU Health Care was seeking to buy St. Mary's Hospital in Jefferson City and the St. Mary's Hospital in Mexico from SSM Health. MU Health Care CEO said the deal will help them serve one million people in central Missouri.
SSM Health will provide MU Health information on the two hospitals, "related physician clinics, outpatient sites and home health operations," according to the letter. MU Health representatives will also be allowed to see the owned and leased property involved in the deal but are limited to asking designated SSM Health representatives for information.
"No direct contact by [MU Health Care] or its representatives to personnel working in [St. Mary's Hospital] shall be permitted," the letter reads.
Each side has permission to end the exclusive negotiations if a definitive agreement is not made by the end of September.
MU Health Care must pay for the costs of any filing fees or title insurance, while SSM Health will bear any costs associated with "canonical approvals of the Roman Catholic Church." ABC 17 News asked the Jefferson City diocese and SSM Health late Wednesday night for clarification on what role, if any, the Catholic Church would play in the deal.