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CommonSpirit, Essentia Health End Hospital Sale Talks

Analysis  |  By John Commins  
   May 18, 2021

The health systems were negotiating the sale of CHI St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck and 13 critical access hospitals in North Dakota and Minnesota.

CommonSpirit Health and Essential Health have ended negotiations started in January for the sale of 14 CommonSpirit hospitals in North Dakota and Minnesota.

"While we share a similar mission, vision, values and strong commitment to sustainable rural health care, CommonSpirit and Essentia were unable to come to an agreement that would serve the best interests of both organizations, the people we employ and the patients we serve," the two health systems said in a joint media release.

No further details were provided.

The two health systems were negotiating the sale of CHI St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck, North Dakota, and 13 critical access hospitals, along with clinics and living communities operated by CommonSpirit and CHI Health at Home home-health and hospice agencies.

Duluth, Minnesota-based Essentia and Chicago-based CommonSpirit signed a nonbinding letter of intent in January to negotiate the sale. At the time, Essentia CEO David C. Herman, MD, noted that the two systems "shared Benedictine heritage and values (that will) form a strong foundation for our ongoing discussions."

"It would be an honor to carry on the rich tradition of high-quality Catholic health care evident today in these CHI facilities," Herman said.

Cliff Robertson, MD, senior vice president for CommonSpirit's Midwest division, said in January that "Essentia Health is well-positioned to integrate these facilities into a continuum of care, while carrying on the Catholic heritage and mission of these facilities."  

Essentia operates 14 hospitals and dozens of ancillary services in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.  

CommonSpirit Health, created in 2019 with the mega-merger of Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health, operates 139 hospitals and more than 1,000 care venues in 21 states, with combined revenues of nearly $30 billion in FY 2020.

“While we share a similar mission, vision, values and strong commitment to sustainable rural health care, CommonSpirit and Essentia were unable to come to an agreement that would serve the best interests of both organizations, the people we employ and the patients we serve.”

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

Essentia and CommonSpirit signed a nonbinding letter of intent in January to negotiate the sale.

No specific reason was given for why the negotiations were unsuccessful.


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