Kaiser Permanente Ohio, which employs about 1,600 people and is the smallest of the enterprises across the country run by health care juggernaut Kaiser Permanente, said in a news release it was choosing to transition its health plan and healthcare operations to Catholic Health Partners “after careful consideration of patient needs and the state's changing health care environment.”
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the news release issued by both organizations said several steps, including regulatory approval, must be taken over the coming months before the deal is finalized. The resulting organization would continue to provide care for more than 80,000 members enrolled in Kaiser Permanente Ohio's health plan.
Officials said it was too early to say whether the pending deal would result in layoffs.
“Catholic Health Partners' mission is closely aligned with ours, as they, too, are dedicated to delivering high-quality, affordable care for their patients while providing tangible benefits to the communities they serve,” said Patricia D. Kennedy-Scott, regional president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Ohio, in the release. “As a statewide organization, CHP possesses unique advantages, including the presence in Ohio, scale, and a track record of quality and cost-effectiveness needed to perpetuate our legacy and care for our members.”
As part of the deal, Catholic Health Partners said it would acquire Kaiser Permanente's health plan but not Ohio Permanente Medical Group, which employs more than 200 physicians and allied health professionals who exclusively care for those enrolled in Kaiser's benefits offerings. Instead, Catholic Health Partners will offer employment to all the medical group's employees, said Liz Vogel, Catholic Health Partners' director of public relations.
Ms. Vogel said the newly formed organization would be re-branded once the acquisition was complete, though it was too early say what its name might be.