Catholic Health Initiatives, the parent organization associated with CHI St. Alexius Health, has signed an agreement with Dignity Health to combine into a new Catholic health system.
The deal is a true merger of equals, with both organizations contributing six board members to the new entity and both companies' CEOs continuing in those roles with specific areas of oversight.
"We are joining together to create a new Catholic health system ... that is positioned to accelerate the change from sick-care to well-care across the United States", said Kevin E. Lofton, chief executive officer of CHI, in a press release.
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CHI and Dignity have no overlap in their existing operations, so there are not expected to be staff cuts or closings of any facilities. Although there is no immediate impact on the credit ratings of either health system, it is likely Dignity Health will be downgraded if the deal closes, according to S&P Global Ratings.
"We foresee an incredible opportunity to expand each organization's best practices to respond to the evolving health care environment and deliver high-quality, cost-effective care", Dean said in a statement.
The potential merger comes as CHI continues to be dogged by financial issues. S&P did upgrade CHI from a negative outlook to stable outlook, meaning no further downgrades were looming. Neither system has hospitals in IL now, but the combined operation will establish its corporate headquarters in Chicago. The organization also enjoyed excess of revenue over expenses of $136 million in the first quarter. Dignity's debt is lower at $5.25 billion in March, though it pays $408 million annually in interest on that debt.
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