Two of Texas' major not-for-profit health systems—Baylor Scott & White Health and Memorial Hermann Health System—announced Feb. 5 they will no longer pursue a merger announced in a letter of intent on Oct. 1 that would have affected 30 counties throughout the state.

"After months of thoughtful exploration, we have decided to discontinue talks of a merger between our two systems," a Feb. 5 news release from Baylor Scott & White stated. "Ultimately, we have concluded that as strong, successful organizations, we are capable of achieving our visions for the future without merging at this time."

When the merger was first announced in October, Memorial Hermann Health System president and CEO Chuck Stokes said the goals were "to accelerate our commitments to make care more consumer centric; grow our capabilities to manage the health of populations; and bend the unsustainable healthcare cost curve in the state."

The two systems collectively operate 68 hospitals, 1,100 clinics and two health plans throughout Dallas, Houston and Central Texas.