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Dignity Health announces merger with Catholic Health Initiatives

The landscape of health care is changing in Nebraska. Thursday, Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) announced a merger deal with Dignity Health. (NTV News/Ifesinachi Egbosimba)

Update:

The landscape of health care is changing in Nebraska. Thursday, Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) announced a merger deal with Dignity Health.

After more than a year of negotiations, Dignity Health and CHI have signed an agreement to merge operations.

This move creates the nation's largest not-for-profit hospital company by revenue, with combined annual revenue of around $28 billion.

The new unnamed health system will span 28 states. It will be made up of more than 700 care sites and 139 hospitals, including Kearney’s Good Samaritan Hospital and Saint Francis Medical Center in Grand Island.

On December 7, the companies laid a vision for the combined ministries, with hopes that the new Catholic health system will expand community-based care, include clinical programs focused on keeping communities healthier longer, plus advancement of digital technologies and innovations.

The merger is the most recent example of consolidation in the health care sector, which has been on the rise for several years prompting worry that less competition means higher prices and fewer choices for consumers.

However, the new health system says this merger does not create any overlapping hospital service areas, so the organizations are not worried about reduced competition.

The companies say this merger should not affect its 159,000 employees or 20 million patients.

The companies do not anticipate any immediate changes with your insurance acceptance.

Original Story:

Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) and Dignity Health have signed a definitive agreement to combine ministries and create a new health system.

"We are joining together to create a new Catholic health system, one that is positioned to accelerate the change from sick-care to well-care across the United States,” said Kevin E. Lofton, chief executive officer of CHI. “Our new organization will have the talent, depth, breadth, and passion to improve the health of every person and community we serve."

“By combining our ministries and building upon our shared mission, we will expand our commitment to meeting the needs of all people with compassion, regardless of income, ethnicity, or language," said Lloyd Dean, president and chief executive officer of Dignity Health. "We foresee an incredible opportunity to expand each organization's best practices to respond to the evolving health care environment and deliver high-quality, cost-effective care."

According to a press release, the new health system will include more than 700 care sites and 139 hospitals, offering people and communities access to quality care delivered by approximately 159,000 employees and more than 25,000 physicians and other advanced practice clinicians. The organizations are geographically complementary with no overlap across hospital service areas.

The new organization will be led by an office of the CEO. Dean and Lofton will both serve as CEOs, each with specific and independent responsibilities and decision-making authority.

The governing board for the new organization – the Board of Stewardship Trustees – will include six members from each legacy board and the two CEOs. The new organization plans to establish its corporate headquarters in Chicago and operate under a new name that will be chosen in the second half of 2018. Local facilities will continue operating under their current names.

The deal is anticipated to close in the second half of 2018 and is subject to federal, state, and church approvals.


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