Franciscan Alliance and Methodist Hospitals exploring ‘integration’ - March 23, 2017

Courtesy of • March 23, 2017

Franciscan Alliance (FA) and Methodist Hospitals are exploring the possible “integration” of Methodist Hospitals into the FA system–in order to “advance the missions of the two systems and further their ability to provide exceptional patient care to the communities that they serve”–the two announced in a joint statement released late on Wednesday.

Under the terms of a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI), FA and Methodist Hospitals have entered a “due-diligence process of approximately 120 days” to “review and further define the details of their proposed relationship before finalizing an agreement.”

“The combined system will be better positioned to meet the many challenges posed by today’s rapidly-changing health care marketplace,” the statement said. “Combined systems will be better able to address the clinical and financial consequences of the shift to population health management and risk-based contracting.”

“We look forward to maximizing the benefits of this partnership that will bring the best of both systems to our communities,” said Ray Grady, president and CEO of Methodist Hospitals. “As the health care landscape evolves, we are dedicated to being forward-looking and ensuring that we continue growing in a way that best serves our patients, communities, physicians and employees.”

“The boards and management of Methodist and Franciscan are interested in exploring the possibility of combining our two health systems,” said Kevin Leahy, president and CEO of Franciscan Alliance. “We believe that, together, we can provide better access to care, enhance patient services, improve quality, and lower costs through cooperation. By leveraging the talent and expertise of our physicians and clinical staffs we can improve the patient experience for those whom we are privileged to serve.”

As part of the due-diligence process, FA and Methodist Hospitals will meet with “physicians, employees, and community representatives to discuss the impact of their proposed relationship on key constituents,” the statement noted. “A definitive agreement will remain contingent upon typical closing conditions including obtaining all required regulatory approvals.”

Methodist Hospitals is a community-based, not-for-profit health system with two full-service acute care facilities in Gary and Merrillville and a number of award-winning programs including its Neuroscience, Oncology, Heart and Vascular Institutes and Breast Care Center.

Franciscan Alliance–founded in 1875 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration–is one of the largest Catholic health care systems in the Midwest and employs nearly 20,000 healthcare professionals to a service area of 3.7 million people.