The Southwest Virginia Health Authority has given its approval to a proposed merger between Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance.
The group met Monday afternoon in Abingdon for the decision which now allows the two health providers to join-up in a merger that has been years in the making. Ballad Health will be the name of the new organization.
A formal objection filed by the Federal Trade Commission still looms over the merger. The FTC says the merging of the Tri Cities region's only health care systems creates a monopoly over inpatient care services in a good portion of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.
Both executives with each provider have disagreed with the FTC comments.