The Oklahoma University Medical System soon will operate without a hospital system manager for the first time in 20 years.
The system's proposed deal to affiliate with Catholic giant SSM Health fell through last month after nearly six months of due diligence. Neither side has addressed why the agreement didn't work out.
Nevertheless, OU Medical intends to proceed this summer with a $750 million buyout of HCA Holdings' management agreement and ownership stake in the system, despite the demise of the SSM alternative, according to University Hospitals Authority and Trust, the state agency and public trust that has governing and financing oversight for OU Medical.
HCA has managed OU Medical for 20 years.
Losing HCA and SSM Health means that OU Health will be without a large operator at the helm with national economies of scale and insights into the latest business practices, information technology and healthcare data analytics.
Oklahoma City-based OU Medical includes the OU Medical Center, The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center, OU Medical Center Edmond and the OU Medicine Breast Health Network.
SSM Health's St. Anthony Hospitals and Physicians Group, its major presence in Oklahoma City, will work to enhance care by clinically integrating with OU Medical System, SSM Health said in a statement.
St. Louis-based SSM Health owns 20 hospitals in Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.
It is no stranger to academic medical centers. SSM Health bought Saint Louis University Hospital in late 2015 from investor-owned Tenet Healthcare to expand its footprint in its headquarter city. Terms were not disclosed.
But so far, the integration has not been easy. The university hospital posted an operating shortfall of $38 million in 2016, contributing to a fall in systemwide operating income to $10 million for the year compared with a gain of $229.7 million in 2015. SSM Health's revenue in 2016 was $6.1 billion.
Deals involving academic medical centers are always complicated, SSM Health said it its statement.
"Agreements such as these are very complex, especially when they involve the combination of a large public academic hospital and a private Catholic healthcare organization," the statement said.