Ascension Pens Deal to Double AMITA Health’s Hospital Count

Steven Porter, February 16, 2018

The definitive agreement adds Presence Health’s 10 Chicagoland hospitals to the nine-hospital integrated system AMITA Health, which is a joint venture by Ascension’s Alexian Brothers Health System and Adventist Midwest Health.

The largest Catholic health system in the U.S. has signed a definitive agreement with one of the largest Catholic health systems in Illinois, the organizations announced Thursday, signaling that they expect to finalize the transaction soon.

Ascension’s planned acquisition of Presence Health was made public last summer when the organizations signed a nonbinding letter of intent. The arrangement comes as Presence Health President and CEO Michael Englehart has, since taking the job in 2015, sought to steer the system into safer financial waters after a few stormy years.

The system reduced its workforce by about 700 positions in 2016 then sold two hospitals to Peoria-based OSF HealthCare in 2017, as the Chicago Tribune reported.

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In a statement, Englehart described joining the Ascension family as “a natural evolution” for Presence Health, given their shared sense of values and mission.

Presence Health’s 10 remaining hospitals are set to become a part of AMITA Health, a nine-hospital system in suburban Chicago formed in 2015 as a partnership between Ascension’s Alexian Brothers Health System, based in Arlington Heights, Ill., and Adventist Health System, based in Hinsdale, Ill., more than doubling the integrated health system’s hospital count.

AMITA Health President and CEO Mark A. Frey said his team is excited to partner with Presence Health.

“From our discussions the past several months, we know we share a strong commitment to providing care to all who need it in the many communities we are privileged to serve,” Frey said in the statement. “Together, we can do even more to deliver the holistic care our patients and their families need, and do it even more efficiently.”

Presence Health has annual revenue of $2.6 billion, according to the statement.

Ascension President and CEO Anthony R. Tersigni, EdD, FACHE, described the deal between Ascension and Presence Health as part of a charitable mission.

“Both our systems are dedicated to providing compassionate and personalized care for all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable,” Tersigni said in the statement. “We believe that by coming together, we will strengthen Catholic healthcare as we provide affordable, accessible and quality care to the community.”

Steven Porter

Steven Porter is editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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