Ascension to purchase Presence Health

Ascension, the country’s largest Catholic health system, has signed a letter of intent to purchase Presence Health, the largest Catholic system in Illinois.

Ascension logo

Under the agreement, Presence Health would become part of AMITA Health, a joint venture between Ascension’s Alexian Brothers Health System and Adventist Midwest Health, the two health organizations announced. All Presence Health facilities would be added to AMITA save for Presence Life Connections, which will instead be added to Ascension’s senior care subsidiary, Ascension Living.

Mark Frey, CEO of AMITA Health and senior vice president of Ascension Healthcare, said in the announcement that Presence was a “perfect fit” for AMITA.

“Since we brought together Alexian Brothers Health System and Adventist Midwest Health to form AMITA Health two years ago, we’ve always looked for opportunities to add like-minded partners with similar values to our system,” Frey said.

RELATED: A look back at hospital mergers and acquisitions in 2016

The healthcare industry’s merger mania has shown no signs of slowing down this year. A Kaufman Hall analysis shows that merger and acquisition activity increased by 15% in the second quarter of 2017 when compared with the second quarter in 2016.

Six transactions between healthcare organizations with $1 billion or more in revenue were announced in the first half of this year, including the the megamerger between Steward Health Care and IASIS Healthcare LLC, which would make Steward the largest for-profit healthcare group in the country.

Ascension expects the merger to move forward successfully, according to the announcement, and it said that the addition of Presence would increase patient access and allow it to more strongly operate AMITA’s accountable care organization.

“We look forward to working together to engage in this joint effort to expand, and continue to deliver, quality care for our patients and residents, as well as provide additional clinical opportunities and patient care resources to all our physicians and associates,” said Michael Englehart, Presence’s CEO.