SSM Health completes acquisition of Wisconsin hospitals
Agnesian HealthCare, based in Fond du Lac, Wis., and Monroe Clinic, based in Monroe, Wis., are now part of Catholic-sponsored SSM Health, fortifying its growing Midwest footprint with the addition of four hospitals, eight post-acute facilities and dozens of outpatient sites. Agnesian includes the 175-bed St. Agnes Hospital, Waupun Memorial Hospital and Ripon Medical Center. The 58-bed Monroe Clinic also has 12 clinic locations, retail and urgent care clinics, and a home care and hospice agency.
SSM Health's integrated healthcare delivery network in Wisconsin now extends into northern Illinois and spans seven hospitals, 10 post-acute facilities and more than 85 physician offices and other outpatient facilities, as well as a health plan and pharmacy benefit management company. The organization now has a total of 24 hospitals.
"This partnership is a natural fit and we look forward to working together to further improve access and enhance quality of care in Wisconsin," Laura Kaiser, president and CEO of SSM Health, said in a statement.
Changes in the Wisconsin payer and provider markets combined with the changing demographics of the CSA were the main drivers behind the deal, executives said.
The acquisition would help SSM compete in an increasingly competitive Midwest market. Downers Grove, Ill.-based Advocate Health Care and Milwaukee, Wis.-based Aurora Health Care unveiled plans last month to create a $10.7 billion cross-state system with 27 hospitals.
In 2015, SSM acquired St. Louis University Hospital from Tenet Healthcare Corp., which would help the organization recruit physicians recruiting physicians while providing access to high-acuity care integrated with the community hospitals SSM owns.
In 2016, SSM assumed operating control of 26 health clinics located within Walgreens drug stores in the St. Louis region. Executives said they continue to look for opportunities to add access points where they have leading market share.
But plans to merge with the Oklahoma University Medical Center fell through in March due to the difficulty of combining a large public academic hospital and a private Catholic healthcare organization, executives said.
In November, SSM Health said it would cut about 350 jobs to "ensure long-term sustainability." The system's operating income for the nine months of 2017 was $17 million, dropping from $66.5 million over the same period in 2016. Only its Oklahoma market continues to perform above expectations and SSM will continue ongoing cost reductions, revenue cycle improvements and optimizing acquisitions to enhance its operating margins, according to its third quarter earnings report.
Agnesian HealthCare, Monroe Clinic and their affiliates will add the SSM Health brand to their names by the end of 2018.
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