Two Huge Hospital Operators, Ascension and Providence St. Joseph, In Merger Talks

Adding to a late-in-the year flurry of huge mergers, Ascension and Providence St. Joseph are in talks that would create the largest hospital operator in the country, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“A deal would create a new operation of unprecedented reach, with 191 hospitals in 27 states and annual revenue of $44.8 billion, based on the most recent fiscal year,” the WSJ reports. “That would dethrone the nation’s largest pure hospital operator, HCA Healthcare Inc., which owns 177 hospitals and ended 2016 with $41.5 billion in revenue.”

The newspaper adds that Ascension and Providence St. Joseph have been in talks for months and that a deal is far from assured. But if it should come to pass, it will change the health care landscape. It would also “up the ante in the face-off between big hospital operators and health insurers, which each sector aiming to gain heft in negotiations over the cost of care and greater control over patients.”

Other deals in the offing: CVS Health wants to buy Aetna for $69 billion. And UnitedHealth Group’s Optum wants to buy DaVita Medical Group for $5 billion.

Source: Wall Street Journal