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CHRISTUS, Ochsner Plan JV in Lake Charles Region

By John Commins  
   June 28, 2017

CHRISTUS will be the majority owner of the not-for-profit entity and will manage the joint venture, including CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital and Lake Area Medical Center.

CHRISTUS Health and Ochsner Health System have signed a letter of intent to pursue a joint venture of CHRISTUS operations in the Lake Charles region of southwest Louisiana, the two health systems announced Wednesday.

The joint venture will have responsibility for all healthcare facilities and services operated by the two health systems in the region. In a joint media release, the health systems said the agreement will improve and expand local access to healthcare and specialties such as maternal fetal medicine, pediatric subspecialties, neurosciences and oncology.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“With today’s announcement we are sharing our intentions of bringing together two vital, not-for-profit organizations,” said Ernie Sadau, president and CEO of CHRISTUS. “We’re also reinforcing our deep commitment to continue to provide high quality care and improve the health of the communities we serve.”

Ochsner President and CEO Warner Thomas said the two health systems have an “opportunity and in fact (a) responsibility to work even more closely together and do more to expand, innovate and improve healthcare in our region.”

Ochsner will assume management of the clinics and employed physicians in the CHRISTUS Physician Group and Lake Area Medical Group. A new joint board of directors will oversee strategic decisions for the integrated system in the Lake Charles area.

When the transaction is completed, CHRISTUS will be the majority owner of the not-for-profit entity and will continue to manage all other parts of the joint venture, including CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital and soon to be acquired Lake Area Medical Center.

Until then, Lake Area Medical Center will be called CHRISTUS Lake Area Hospital.

The deal is expected to be finalized by fall 2017 including the new structure, an anticipated name change and co-branding. When the deal is finalized, the new entity will expand specialized healthcare services in the Lake Charles area that are currently unavailable.  

CHRISTUS Health, a Catholic, faith-based, not-for-profit health system, is headquartered in Dallas, TX and includes more than 60 hospitals and long-term care facilities, 350 clinics and outpatient centers and dozens of other health ministries and ventures in the U.S., Mexico, Chile and Colombia.

Ochsner Health System is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system and includes 29 affiliated hospitals and more than 80 health centers and urgent care centers. 

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders.

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