(Story updated at 2 p.m. ET with comments from health system officials.)
Summa Health System, Akron, Ohio, and Catholic Health Partners, Cincinnati, have signed a letter of intent to form a strategic partnership.
Summa, which owns five hospitals in Ohio, had sought a not-for-profit partner since July to bolster its financials. CHP, which owns 23 hospitals, with two and Kentucky and 21 in Ohio, would receive a minority interest in Summa. No further financial details about the deal were disclosed in a news release announcing the plans. Officials said they expect the partnership to be finalized by mid-year. The search included about 10 not-for-profit systems, Summa officials said.
“We have had the unique opportunity to get to know several leading national healthcare organizations throughout this process,” said Summa board chair Norman Wells Jr. in the news release. “Our experience with each has been extremely positive, and we have learned a great deal about what makes them successful. When looking specifically at what is most important to us, I am confident that Catholic Health Partners is the right group to join us on our journey to transform the delivery of healthcare.”
The two not-for-profit systems have already established a relationship, helping to expand the SummaCare Medicare Advantage plans to new markets. Officials cited that both systems have accountable care organizations that are part of the CMS Medicare Shared Savings Program and have implemented patient-centered medical homes as evidence the two groups will be compatible.