Baylor Scott & White, Memorial Hermann announce merger plans

By Eagle Staff Report

Baylor Scott & White Health announced plans on Monday to merge with Memorial Hermann Health System to create a combined health care system.

Both Texas health systems are faith-based, not-for-profit organizations that share similar missions and values, a statement announcing the merger said. The combined health system could become a national model for consumer-centric, cost-effective care, the announcement said.

Financial terms weren’t immediately released on the deal expected to be completed next year.

“This is about two mission-driven organizations – both committed to making safe, high-quality health care more convenient and affordable – building something transformative together,” said Jim Hinton, CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health. “We must lead the change in our industry.”

A letter of intent signed by both organizations includes plans to create a unified board from both systems. Ross McKnight, the current chair of the Baylor Scott & White Holdings Board, will service as the proposed combined system’s board chair.

Hinton will be the CEO of the new organization. Chuck Stokes, president and CEO of Memorial Hermann, and Pete McCanna, president of Baylor Scott & White Health, will be on the executive leadership team.

“This is about two, independent, strong organizations that believe that we will be stronger together, and it will be Texans who benefit,” Hinton said during a press conference in Houston.

Stokes said the goal was to improve the health care of Texans by making it accessible, affordable and high-quality.

The systems have about 73,000 employees in more than 30 Texas counties with 68 hospital campuses. The combined operation, with a new name to be determined, would have executive and support staff based in Austin, Dallas, Houston and Temple. Facilities will continue to operate in their current markets with their existing names.

The statement from Baylor Scott & White and Memorial Hermann notes both health care systems have strong ties to the academic community, for continued training and research.

Deborah Cannon, chair of the Memorial Hermann Health System board of directors, said the decision was an effort to transform health care delivery in the state.

“Health care is changing, and it’s going to change dramatically over the next few years. And it, frankly, needs to,” she said during a Dallas press conference. “Working together, we think that we have a better chance than anybody of really being innovative, providing new ways of caring for our patients.”

Cannon said the deal between the two systems could serve as a national model for other health care mergers in the future.

“Our employees win, our physicians win, but most of all, our patients win because we really are going to make a huge difference in their lives going forward,” she said.

This article provided by NewsEdge.