Alexian Brothers Health System and Adventist Midwest Health signed a letter of intent to form a joint operating company that would oversee nine Chicago-area hospitals, making the combined network the third-largest in Illinois based on the number of hospitals
The agreement wouldn't reach the level of full merger because of the different religious identities. The Adventist hospitals will not come under the Catholic Ethical and Religious Directives, an Adventist spokeswoman said.
The joint company would have its own governing board and combine the corporate operations of the smaller systems under one roof. Alexian CEO Mark Frey would stay in the top executive slot, and Adventist CEO David Crane plans to be executive vice president, the two officials said in an interview.
The two systems
would maintain separate ownership of assets and separate finances, and the as-yet-unnamed operating company would handle long-term planning and strategy for the systems. It would also be able to issue debt, but only with the approval of Alexian's and Adventist's parent companies: St. Louis-based Ascension Health, which acquired Alexian in 2012, and Orlando, Fla.-based Adventist Health System. —Andrew L. Wang, Crain's Chicago business
St. Luke's Health System, a nine-hospital, not-for-profit system based in Kansas City, Mo., plans to team up with for-profit Centerre Healthcare to build an inpatient rehab hospital in the K.C. metro area. The groups expect the new 60-bed facility to open in 2016.
Julie Quirin, senior vice president of continuum of care services at St. Luke's, said in a news release the main goal of the joint venture is “to provide a seamless-care experience for our rehabilitation patients and to provide the most comprehensive level of inpatient rehabilitation services in the region.”
Observers say this type of deal is part of the push to place patients in the right setting and ultimately avoid high rates of readmission—which can hurt hospitals' reimbursements.
Since April 2013, privately held Centerre has announced joint venture partnerships with four other not-for-
profit health systems—Texas Health Resources, Arlington; Methodist Health System, Dallas; University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison; and St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, Pa. Including the St. Luke's hospital, Centerre will operate 14 inpatient rehab hospitals. —Bob HermanFollow Bob Herman on Twitter: @MHbherman