Healthcare Business News

Geisinger, Holy Spirit Health System explore affiliation

By Jaimy Lee
Posted: September 9, 2013 - 3:15 pm ET

Geisinger Health System said it signed a letter of intent to explore an affiliation with Holy Spirit Health System, a 290-bed hospital in Camp Hill, Pa.

Geisinger, based in Danville, Pa., operates four hospitals in Pennsylvania. Holy Spirit Health System, a Catholic not-for-profit community hospital, currently participates in Geisinger Health Plan's provider network.

The due diligence and approval process is expected to take six to nine months, the organizations said in a joint news release.

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“Geisinger brings a proven record of similar successful ventures, an affiliated insurance plan and nationally acclaimed patient-centered care to complement Holy Spirit's strong presence in the greater Harrisburg area, and the reputation for both quality and caring,” Sister Romaine Niemeyer, Holy Spirit's president and CEO, said in a news release.

Geisinger made a number of deals in recent years, acquiring Community Medical Center, a 232-bed hospital in Scranton, Pa., and Bloomsburg Health System, a 72-bed hospital in Bloomsburg, Pa.

When asked if the organizations plan to discuss a possible acquisition, Geisinger spokesman said it's “too early to tell.”

In a separate statement on its website, Holy Spirit Health said that Geisinger shares “many of Holy Spirit's core values and a common mission of excellent patient care and community service.”

Standard & Poor's Rating Services (PDF) in March said it had revised Holy Spirit's outlook from stable to negative, citing “weaker-than-expected” operating performance in part because of losses at the employed physicians group. The ratings agency also noted that Holy Spirit will face increased competition next year when Pinnacle Health System in Harrisburg, Pa., is expected to open a new nearby facility.

Follow Jaimy Lee on Twitter: @MHjlee

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