New Hampshire-based health systems Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health and GraniteOne Health are planning to merge.
The two organizations announced on Friday that they signed a nonbinding letter of intent to combine their organizations as a nonprofit health system to be known as Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health GraniteOne. The signing of the letter of intent begins a process of due diligence which will include opportunities for public input, negotiation of the final terms, approval by each organization's leadership and the Bishop of Manchester and review by federal and state regulators.
Officials at both organizations said a combined health system would expand access to care for New Hampshire patients, including responding to growing demand for inpatient, specialty and subspecialty services in southern New Hampshire and extending healthcare services in rural communities.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health is a nonprofit, regional academic health system that provides primary and specialty care to patients in New Hampshire and Vermont. It is anchored by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire’s only academic medical center providing ambulatory and inpatient hospital services, as well as the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, New Hampshire’s only children’s hospital.
GraniteOne Health is a nonprofit healthcare system that includes Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, with its nationally renowned New England Heart & Vascular Institute.
This is among the first health system merger announcements of the year following an active year for mergers in 2018. Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care closed their $11 billion merger in April 2018. Massachusetts and federal regulators gave the OK in 2018 for the planned merger of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Lahey Health. Bon Secours Health System and Mercy Health completed their $8 billion merger in September 2018.
Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives are expected to close their merger on Jan. 31.