Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic health system, has signed a nonbinding letter of intent to acquire Caritas Christi Health Care, a six-hospital system owned by the Archdiocese of Boston. The prospective partners hope to close a deal by July, Ascension and archdiocese officials said in a jointly released statement.
Boston's Archbishop, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, said in the statement: "We are pleased to announce that we have selected a potential sponsor and health system that has both the values consistent with those of the Archdiocese of Boston and Caritas Christi and the financial strength to support our healthcare system."
The archdiocese said in mid-December 2006 it was evaluating its ownership of Caritas Christi, which has struggled financially. Caritas Christi reported net income of $33 million on revenue of $1.17 billion for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2005 after losing $14.3 million off revenue of $1.09 billion a year earlier.
St. Louis-based Ascension, the largest U.S. not-for-profit health system, owns 65 acute-care hospitals and reported $803 million in net income on $11.4 billion in revenue for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2006. Ascension is also in talks to become half-owner of Via Christi Health System, a four-hospital Catholic system in Wichita, Kan., and acquire Eastern Health System, a three-hospital system in Birmingham, Ala., where Ascension owns St. Vincent's Hospital. -- by Melanie Evans