SSM Health acquires Saint Louis University's academic medical practice

St. Louis-based SSM Health has acquired SLUCare Physician Group, the academic medical practice of Saint Louis University that has delivered medical services across several of the system’s hospitals for decades.

The system did not disclose terms for its deal, which will establish SLUCare’s 600-plus faculty, academic medical professionals and staff as a dedicated academic physician division within the eight-hospital SSM Health St. Louis network.

The new team will work in tandem with more than 600 providers of SSM Health Medical Group who deliver care virtually and out of over 50 physician office locations, creating what the system described as “one of the most comprehensive fully integrated academic and community-based physician groups” in the St. Louis region.

“By fully integrating SLUCare Physician Group into the SSM Health care network, patients will experience improved and seamless access to all levels of care, including highly specialized procedures and clinical trials with the potential to deliver breakthrough life-saving treatments,” SSM Health wrote in its Tuesday announcement. “The agreement also represents a significant investment in the Saint Louis University School of Medicine to expand clinical research, medical training and education across the region.”

SSM Health’s announcement highlighted years of collaboration between the system’s founding congregation and the Saint Louis University School of Medicine dating back to 1903, when the Franciscan Sisters of Mary brought medical students into their hospitals for training.

The two groups opened up a nursing school in 1928 and then SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital (initially Firmin Desloge Hospital) in 1933. The academic medical center was sold to Tenet Healthcare in 1998 before being repurchased by SSM Health in 2015.

SSM Health today consists of 23 hospitals and hundreds of other locations across four Midwest states, as well as other entities such as a pharmacy benefit company, a health plan and an accountable care organization. The Catholic nonprofit employs nearly 40,000 people and brought in nearly $9.1 billion in total operating revenues and other support in 2021.