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SSM Health Signs LOI to Acquire Health System, Clinic

By Philip Betbeze  
   July 12, 2017

The St. Louis-based health system has a deal with the Sisters of St. Agnes to take over its Wisconsin-based hospitals.

SSM Health, the St. Louis-based Catholic health system that owns 20 hospitals in four states, including Dean Clinic and its health plan, Dean Health Plan, in Wisconsin, has signed a letter of intent with the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes to acquire Fond du Lac, Wisconsin-based Agnesian HealthCare and Monroe, Wisconsin-based Monroe Clinic. Both parties will conduct due diligence on the proposed acquisition over the next several months. Terms were not disclosed.

Sister Jean Steffes, general superior of the order, told the Wisconsin State Journal the deal should be completed in January.

Agnesian’s flagship hospital, St. Agnes Hospital, has 175 beds, and the parent organization also owns two 25-bed critical access hospitals: Ripon Medical Center and Waupun Memorial Hospital, in addition to the 58-bed Monroe Clinic.

The deal continues the rapid consolidation trend in acute healthcare, as market and regulatory factors change the delivery of healthcare services. The acquisition would give SSM a foothold in the eastern part of Wisconsin to add to its 2013 acquisition of Dean and its properties, which extend across 18 counties in the south central part of the state, including its capital, Madison.

In a press release, Steffes said that changes in the Wisconsin payer and provider markets, combined with the changing demographics of the congregation, led the sisters to making the decision to ally with SSM Health.

“The time is right for us to focus on the long-term sustainability of Agnesian HealthCare and Monroe Clinic,” she said in the release. “With their reputation for mission-driven, high-quality and compassionate care, we believe SSM Health is a strong strategic partner to both preserve and advance the organizations.”

Laura Kaiser, president and CEO of SSM Health, said the facilities her organization will acquire “have a bright and vibrant future.”

Steve Little, Agnesian’s CEO, told the Journal that the facilities would likely be renamed under the SSM Health brand.


Philip Betbeze is the senior leadership editor at HealthLeaders.

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