Merger announcements have dominated recent news in healthcare. Rumors abound that St. Louis-based Ascension Health is considering a merger with Renton, Washington’s Providence St. Joseph Health. Together, they would make the nation’s largest system of hospitals. Merger deals were also announced between Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health, and another between Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. All claim that uniting leads to more efficiency and overall better care. But the results are far from conclusive, and many independent hospitals simply don’t want to be acquired or part of a major merger.