St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare is exploring a strategic affiliation with Memorial Group, which includes Memorial Hospital in Belleville (Ill.) and the soon-to-be completed Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh, Ill.
The two organizations have signed a letter of intent to conduct due diligence. A spokeswoman for Memorial Group said the deal would not be an acquisition or a merger with BJC, which has 11 hospitals.
Under the proposed deal, BJC Healthcare would become a “partner” in Memorial Hospital Belleville and Memorial Hospital East, according to a release. The Memorial spokeswoman declined to comment on the potential deal's financial terms.
A final decision is expected this summer. The affiliation would not change names, branding or leadership at Memorial's hospitals, and would be subject to regulatory approval, if signed.
BJC has a track record of building hospital and system partnerships. In 2012, it formed the BJC Collaborative with three other health systems, bringing together 30 hospitals across three states.
Last week, an Illinois regulatory board ended a hotly contested battle between Memorial Group and St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville, Ill., by approving St. Elizabeth's plans to build a replacement hospital in O'Fallon, Ill., not far from Memorial Hospital East. Memorial opposed the move because it said it would duplicate services in the O'Fallon-Shiloh area and abandon the vulnerable population of downtown Belleville.